How to Gift an iPad App

Want to make someone's day? Send them an app

Woman unpacking present, close up.

Betsie Van Der Meer/Getty Images 

You can easily give iPad apps as gifts in the App Store. The hardest part is picking out the app itself. Of course, you can always give that special someone an App Store gift card, but where's the fun in that? There's nothing that says you are special more than the gift of the hottest new app.

How to Gift an iPad App

You no longer go through iTunes on a computer to buy apps. You buy apps (or give apps) for Apple's iOS devices, including the iPad, directly on the iPad or an iPhone using the App Store. The process is similar to buying an app for yourself.

  1. Tap the App Store icon on the iPad Home screen.

    App Store icon on iPad Home Screen
  2. Scroll through the App Store's Today screen when it opens. There you'll see new and featured apps. If you already have a specific app in mind or just want more options, tap Apps at the bottom of the screen.

    Apps button in App Store app on iPad

    Need suggestions on what app to gift? Check out this guide to the best iPad games.

  3. Select an app from the Apps screen by scrolling through it or using the search field. The apps that have Get next to them are free, although they may offer in-app purchases. Paid apps display the price next to their name. Tap any app for information and reviews that can help you make your choice.

    LookUp app on App Store on iPad
  4. Tap the app that you have decided to gift to someone to open its information screen. Select the blue circle with three dots in it at the right side of the screen to open a screen with the Gift App option.

    More button in app detail screen
  5. Select Gift App in the pop-up window if you are gifting a paid app. (If the app you want to send is free, select the Share App option instead. There is no Gift App option for free apps.)

    Gift app option in App Store
  6. Enter the recipient's email address and your name in the To and From fields. Type a message in the area provided and select the date you want Apple to notify your recipient of the gift. Tap Next.

    Next button in Send Gift dialog
  7. Select a theme for your gift presentation from the options provided. Tap Next.

    Theme selection screen's Next button
  8. Confirm all the information and the price in the Review screen and tap Buy to complete your gift order.

    Buy button when gifting an app

That's it. The recipient of your gift receives an email with instructions on how to download and install the app.

Before you know it, you are hearing from your friend or family member confirming receipt of your gift.

How to Send an App Store Gift Card From an iPad

For people who struggle with picking out an app for their friends or family members, there's always the Gift Card option.

  1. Open the App Store and go to either the Today view or the Apps screen by tapping the corresponding Today or Apps at the bottom of the screen. The gift card option is available from either screen. Tap your photo or avatar in the upper right corner of the screen.

    Personal avatar in App Store on iPad
  2. In the Account screen, select Send Gift Card by Email.

    Send Gift Card by Email in App Store
  3. Enter the recipient's email address and your name and message in the fields provided. Select the amount you want to send from the amounts listed or by tapping Other. Select a different date if you don't want the gift card sent today. Tap Next.

    $25 amount in Send Gift dialog

    If you select Other, the virtual keyboard appears, and you enter any amount between $15 and $200 that you want to send.

  4. Select a Theme, which is personalized with your message, name, and gift amount. Tap Next.

    Theme selection screen for Gift Card on App Store
  5. Review the information and tap Buy to complete the order. Your recipient will receive an email on the date that you specified.

    Buy button in Gift Card dialog on App Store