How to Send an iPhone or iPad App as a Gift

Buy an iOS app for anyone straight from your device

iPad app gifting screen

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 the app itself.

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 apps on the App Store.

How to Give an iOS App to Someone

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

iPhone app gifting
  1. Open the App Store on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. 

  2. Open the app you want to send. You can locate it with the Search tool.

  3. Tap the three-dotted button on the app's download page, located to the right of the app's price.

  4. Select Gift App.

    If you aren't already logged in to your Apple account, you'll be asked to now.

  5. Fill out the details you see on the screen, 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), and then select Next.

  7. Select a theme that the recipient will see when they open your gift and then tap Next.

  8. Review the details before purchasing the app for the other person. If it looks correct. select Buy, otherwise, choose Back and make the appropriate edits.

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 it to download not just apps from the App Store but also music and other media. 

  1. Open iTunes on your computer, and sign if and when you're prompted to.

  2. Select Store at the top of the screen.

  3. Choose Send Gift in the panel to the right of the screen.

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

    App Store and iTunes Gift screen
  5. Pick a gift amount to the right of the form, or choose Other to enter any amount between $15 and $200.

  6. Indicate whether you want the gift certificate sent right now or at a later date.

  7. Choose Next.

  8. Select a theme for the virtual gift card, such as App Store & iTunes, Birthday, or Just Because, and then press Next.

  9. Review the order of the gift before finalizing the purchase. When you select Buy Gift, your account will be charged, the gift certificate sent to the recipient, and a receipt emailed to you. To make changes, select Back.