How to gift an app [for your child] in the iTunes Store

When my oldest son first got his iPod Touch, he was lucky enough to get a few iTunes gift cards to go with it. The ability to buy whatever apps he wanted (within my parental control limitations) made every day feel like Christmas.

That is, until his iTunes balance hit zero.

But my son is resourceful. He quickly figured out he could make some extra money by doing chores around the house and mowing the lawn and in no time, he had enough money to buy some more apps.

Up first, the extremely popular kids (and heck, adults too) game, Plants vs. Zombies. All that stood between this game and my son was the $2.99 needed to buy it. But I couldn’t exactly buy a $2.99 iTunes gift card at my local drug store so I had to resort to gifting the app to my son.

So I told my son to give me $3 (somehow I always eat the sales tax) and told him I would gift him the app. Which coincidentally became a great opportunity for me to document the entire process.

Gifting an app, step by step

Here’s how it’s done.

First, you open iTunes and click the iTunes Store. Then search for the app you want, in my case, Plants vs. Zombies. That will get you to a page that roughly looks like the one below.

Gift This App

Just under the icon for the app is a drop-down arrow next to the button labeled “$2.99 Buy App” (the screen shot below shows the word “Download” because I captured the screen after I made the purchase). When you click the drop-down arrow, a menu will appear with “Gift This App” as one of the available selections.

Clicking “Gift This App” will take you to a screen that looks like the one below.

Gift This App - Select a Delivery Method

Note the “Select Delivery Method” choices at the top. I chose to print the gift myself rather than send it via email mainly because my son’s email address just forwards to mine. I discovered this preference the hard way when I gifted an app via email, got the email in my own inbox a few seconds later, clicked the link and ended up redeeming my own gift code. Conversely, by choosing to print the gift yourself you can do what you want with the code after you complete your purchase.

After filling out the sender and recipient information and clicking the “Continue” button, you are presented with a confirmation screen like the one below.

Gift This App - Confirmation

Assuming everything looks ok, the final step is to click the “Buy Gift” button which leads you to the final screen shown below.

Gift This App - Redeem Code

This screen contains your “Redeem Code” (I have it blurred out in the screen shot above) which is what your recipient needs to enter to redeem the app you gifted for him/her. Print it, write it down, do something with it. Just don’t lose it.

How the code is actually redeemed

The final step is for the recipient to enter the “Redeem Code” in the App Store. In my son’s case, he just launched the App Store on his iPod Touch and then scrolled down to the bottom of the “Featured” apps. That’s where you’ll find a button labeled “Redeem”. Click the button, enter the code and within seconds, your gifted app starts downloading and installing.

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1 Comment

  1. Marian

    Makes shopping at a store, choosing a gift for your child, buying it at the cash register, bringing it home and wrapping it, handing it to your child and seeing a smile……makes it all seem kind of quaint, doesn’t it?