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Apple adds 'Gift This App' option to App Store

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Apple on Monday added the ability for customers to send an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad application to another person as a gift when purchasing software through iTunes.

By clicking the drop-down menu next to "Buy App" in iTunes, users now have a new option entitled "Gift This App." Selecting it accesses the "Give a Gift" page, which allows users to type in the recipient's name and e-mail address. It also gives the opportunity to add a personal message of up to 500 characters.

The gift can then be printed and physically delivered, or e-mailed to the recipient via the automated form. Gifts can only be redeemed in the store country from which the gift originated.

Users first noticed the new feature Monday when Apple updated its App Store Terms & Conditions. The update added a "Gifts" section to the App Store terms, while modifying them in the iTunes store.

The terms note that gifts cannot be used for in-app purchases, upgrades or to update the iPod touch OS.
post #2 of 19
Really nice but why the heck can't we gift to other countries?
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post #3 of 19
Darn, they're 6 days too late. I needed to gift an app last week and had to buy a $10 gift card and instruct the recipient how to buy the $3 app I wanted them to have. \
post #4 of 19
A nice marketing wrinkle, but still doesn't address the glaring problems with the App Store, namely navigation, speed and reviewing of Apps.

It's like Apple is trying to train the next generation of computer users to remember and judge apps by icons alone. Sure this works with a static set on a users device, as eventually they come to remember what a icon stands for. But to locate new apps out of a 150,000 like that is a pain in the arse.

Until one can search graphics like they can words, they better think of going back to good old text descriptions on the main pages, loads faster too. Leave the icon for when a user downloads the app later and needs a visual reference.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Really nice but why the heck can't we gift to other countries?

Think about it. Probably because of the complexities of currency exchange rates, taxes, customs regulations, etc. Too much trouble to be worth it, and for possibly small potential demand.

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

Think about it. Probably because of the complexities of currency exchange rates, taxes, customs regulations, etc. Too much trouble to be worth it, and for possibly small potential demand.


Because it would hamper developers from charging more or less in different economies or selling their product in areas developers don't want to support.


Some moron would gift their English only app to some bloke in China and all hell would break lose.



Finger licking good thought for the day:

One out of 10,000 chickens on average is born half rooster, half hen.
post #7 of 19
GREAT- I'd like to gift a fart app to solipism. Ireland -I'd gift bubble snap.
What's your email addresses?
post #8 of 19
Whew. This is news.
post #9 of 19
Is anyone even a little bothered that Apple is asking you to give them personal information about another person? Or conversely, that Apple is tempting others to give your information to Apple.

Granted, this not personal like health records, and in the case of an iPhone, we would expect that each user/email would be registered in Apple's massive databases, but what about iPod Touch owners? Many are kids/teens who own devices purchased by parents. Now Apple is luring friends and family to send other people's personal information (full name and email) to a 3rd party. In this case, a big corporate entity. What about devices that are owned by kids under age 13? There are legal restrictions on that data.

Also, many people have personal email addresses for friends and family, but use separate ones for other purposes, like online purchases or forum registrations. If you're going to gift someone an app, are you likely to ask them in advance if Apple has their personal email information?

Gifting is best done as a surprise, not so great if you tell someone in advance "Hey, I'd like to buy this $2 app for you. Can I send your personal info to Apple? What email address should I use?"

Just curious if people even think about this stuff. Would you ask someone before gifting them?
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post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Is anyone even a little bothered that Apple is asking you to give them personal information about another person? Or conversely, that Apple is tempting others to give your information to Apple.

Granted, this not personal like health records, and in the case of an iPhone, we would expect that each user/email would be registered in Apple's massive databases, but what about iPod Touch owners? Many are kids/teens who own devices purchased by parents. Now Apple is luring friends and family to send other people's personal information (full name and email) to a 3rd party. In this case, a big corporate entity. What about devices that are owned by kids under age 13? There are legal restrictions on that data.

Also, many people have personal email addresses for friends and family, but use separate ones for other purposes, like online purchases or forum registrations. If you're going to gift someone an app, are you likely to ask them in advance if Apple has their personal email information?

Gifting is best done as a surprise, not so great if you tell someone in advance "Hey, I'd like to buy this $2 app for you. Can I send your personal info to Apple? What email address should I use?"

Just curious if people even think about this stuff. Would you ask someone before gifting them?

I think that's why there is a print option.

Your post sounds like Apple is trying to use the gift option to figure out social connections or personal info and exploit them as the main purpose of this feature. Though this may help them with targetted ads, it sounds much more like a Google strategy than an Apple one.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

Because it would hamper developers from charging more or less in different economies or selling their product in areas developers don't want to support.
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Developers can't charge different amounts for different countries or regions.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

I think that's why there is a print option.

I did see that, and without seeing how it works in its entirety, that might be a good thing. If you enter the information on a web form for Apple to generate a certificate, there's a good chance that Apple gets that info, even if it's assumed to be for printing purposes only. No accusations on that part though, since I have not run through the process.

My question was more about how people think about this topic. Do folks just enter other peoples' full names and personal email addresses willy-nilly into web forms? Do you care that your friends might not like that, or does that even weigh into any of the thinking process? What about minors or kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

Your post sounds like Apple is trying to use the gift option to figure out social connections or personal info and exploit them as the main purpose of this feature. Though this may help them with targetted ads, it sounds much more like a Google strategy than an Apple one.

I wasn't thinking so much about the social connections, although you could be onto something. This could be an easy way for Apple to gain some of those insights, which are very valuable. There are certainly rumors about them looking into such things.

Rather, I was just thinking that they might be looking for more information in general. Apple has been really nasty in the past about forcing their independent dealers to cough up their customers' personal info, and then contacting the customers directly. That's a terrible policy.
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post #13 of 19
This is a test.
Now, when they swing this for the ibook store, that is where the big bucks are.
post #14 of 19
Finally!! I've wanted this for ever. Could never understand why they allowed it for music and videos, but not Apps.
Yay!
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Is anyone even a little bothered that Apple is asking you to give them personal information about another person? Or conversely, that Apple is tempting others to give your information to Apple.


Yep, social networking data mining for marketing purposes at least, Big Brother for sure.

One way to find terrorist cells, right?

Like your signature BTW.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Is anyone even a little bothered that Apple is asking you to give them personal information about another person? Or conversely, that Apple is tempting others to give your information to Apple.

Granted, this not personal like health records, and in the case of an iPhone, we would expect that each user/email would be registered in Apple's massive databases, but what about iPod Touch owners? Many are kids/teens who own devices purchased by parents. Now Apple is luring friends and family to send other people's personal information (full name and email) to a 3rd party. In this case, a big corporate entity. What about devices that are owned by kids under age 13? There are legal restrictions on that data.

Also, many people have personal email addresses for friends and family, but use separate ones for other purposes, like online purchases or forum registrations. If you're going to gift someone an app, are you likely to ask them in advance if Apple has their personal email information?

Gifting is best done as a surprise, not so great if you tell someone in advance "Hey, I'd like to buy this $2 app for you. Can I send your personal info to Apple? What email address should I use?"

Just curious if people even think about this stuff. Would you ask someone before gifting them?

I didn't try it yet but I think it doesn't matter if the email is connected to iTunes or not. I have sent a family member iTunes gift card by email through iTunes. Apple basically send an iTunes code to the user email address provided by you. The user then copy and paste the code into iTunes "Redeem" section. The code can be used with any iTunes account and is not tied to the email the sender provided. I believe this gift option work in similar way.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

Think about it. Probably because of the complexities of currency exchange rates, taxes, customs regulations, etc. Too much trouble to be worth it, and for possibly small potential demand.

I think you underestimate the simplicity of currency exchange on line these days. Apple have my credit card on file and can calculate the relevant charges and exchange rates in a few seconds and bill me accordingly. I currently purchase gifts for my friends and family in other countries using this exact system from numerous other on line stores why would you think Apple are incapable of such a simple procedure?
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Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

Because it would hamper developers from charging more or less in different economies or selling their product in areas developers don't want to support.


Some moron would gift their English only app to some bloke in China and all hell would break lose.


Funny thought but ... It would be simple enough that the billing occurred in the purchaser's country while the product shipped from the recipients so your scenario is unlikely although again it would be simple enough to actually ask the sender what language as obviously the recipient may be an English speaking person living in China.
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Gifting is best done as a surprise, not so great if you tell someone in advance "Hey, I'd like to buy this $2 app for you. Can I send your personal info to Apple? What email address should I use?"

Just curious if people even think about this stuff. Would you ask someone before gifting them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I didn't try it yet but I think it doesn't matter if the email is connected to iTunes or not. I have sent a family member iTunes gift card by email through iTunes. Apple basically send an iTunes code to the user email address provided by you. The user then copy and paste the code into iTunes "Redeem" section. The code can be used with any iTunes account and is not tied to the email the sender provided. I believe this gift option work in similar way.

Okay, that makes sense. But still doesn't answer my main question for people here: did you, or would you, ask your recipient before sending their personal information to a 3rd party (Apple, in this case). And where would you draw the line? If it required more information about your recipient, would you still think it's okay to enter it into a 3rd party's web form?

I think many (most?) people would, and our society is changing (for the worse). If you walked into your local grocery store, and they had a drawing for a $100 shopping certificate, but you had to list the names and phone #s of 3 friends on the ticket, most people would not do that. And yet we throw our friends' full names and email addresses around on the web like candy. I'd like to encourage people to think twice before doing so.

In this particular case, Apple may be providing a service, but you can bet they're also harvesting a ton of valuable information about both social relationships and acquiring more email addresses to send marketing crap. I created a fresh web-mail account a while ago purely for buying some iPhone apps, and they send all kinds of crap to that account.
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