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 mobile apps on the App Store.

The directions on this page are for gifting an app, meaning that you pay for it but you send it to someone else so that they can use it instead of you. If you'd rather set up Family Sharing, you can share apps amongst your family.

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. Locate the app you want to send as a gift, and tap it to reach the download page.

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

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

    If you aren't already logged in to your Apple account, you'll be asked to now. You can reset your Apple ID password if you can't log in.

    This is also the screen where you can share an app without paying for it. Select Share App to send the link to a friend — over email, social media, or another means — so that they can buy or download the app.

  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.

    Gift App... button, To: field, and Other Date
  7. Choose 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.

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

  1. Select Store at the top of iTunes.

    Store button in iTunes
  2. Choose Send Gift in the panel to the right.

    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 to the right of the form, or choose Other to enter any amount between $15 and $200.

  5. Indicate whether you want the gift certificate sent right 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, such as App Store & iTunes, Birthday, or Just Because, and 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.

    Buy Gift button in iTunes

You can select Back to make changes.