How to Send an iPhone or iPad App as a Gift

Buy an iOS app for anyone straight from your device

iPhone and iPad apps make great gifts. They're affordable, can be selected according to the recipient's tastes so that they're more personal than a gift card, and are easy and quick to send. The hardest part is picking an app.

To send an app as a gift, you need an iOS device — iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. If you don't own one, you can send a gift certificate from iTunes on your computer. The recipient can use it to purchase mobile apps on the App Store.

Instructions in this article apply to gifting an app, meaning that you pay for the app but you send it to someone else. To share apps among family members, set up Family Sharing.

How to Give an iOS App to Someone

Here's how to send an iPhone or iPad app to someone from your iOS device:

  1. Open the App Store on your device.

  2. Tap the app you want to send as a gift to go to the download page.

  3. Tap More (the three-dot icon located to the right of the app price).

    Search field, Facetune app, three-dot menu
  4. Choose Gift App.

    You may be prompted to sign in to your Apple account. Reset your Apple ID password if you can't log in.

    Select Share App to send the link to a friend over email, social media, or another means so they can buy or download the app.

  5. Fill out the details including the recipient's email address, your name, and an optional message.

  6. Tap Today to schedule a time to send the app (or leave it to gift the app right away), then select Next.

    Gift App... button, To: field, and Other Date
  7. Choose a theme that the recipient will see when they open your gift, then tap Next.

  8. Review the details. If the information is correct, select Buy. Or, choose Back to make changes to the order.

    Next and Buy buttons in App Store app

How to Send a Gift Card With iTunes

Another way to send a gift to an iOS user is through iTunes. This is great if you don't have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, or if you'd prefer to send a general gift card without attaching a specific app to it.

Someone who receives a gift certificate can use the gift card to download apps, music, and other media from the App Store.

  1. Open iTunes and select Store.

    Store button in iTunes
  2. Choose Send Gift.

    Send Gift button in iTunes
  3. Enter the recipient's email address and an optional message, as well as your name so that the sender knows who you are.

  4. Pick a gift amount, or choose Other to enter any amount between $15 and $200.

  5. Indicate whether you want the gift certificate sent now or at some point within the next 365 days.

  6. Choose Next.

    Next button in iTunes
  7. Select a theme for the virtual gift card, then press Next.

    Next button on Theme card in iTunes
  8. Review the order, and if it's correct, select Buy Gift to charge your account, send the gift certificate to the recipient, and receive a receipt over email. Or, select Back to make changes.

    Buy Gift button in iTunes