Apple Adds “Gift This App” Option to App Store, Questions Emerge

On Monday, Apple added a “Gift This App” feature to the App Store, enabling customers to purchase an app as a gift for another person, just like you could for music and video previously. To access the new feature, simply click on the dropdown menu next to “Buy App” to find the “Gift This App” link (doesn’t seem to be enabled for all apps yet).

Even with this new feature, certain questions remain (such as what if the user already has the app you’re sending them or what if you’re not sending the gift to an e-mail address hooked into an iTunes Store account). According to MacRumors, users logging into or attempting to purchase from the iTunes Store today were met with a dialog box requiring that they accept a modified version of the iTunes Store and App Store terms and conditions.

In addition to some clarifications regarding intellectual property rights and liability, the updated terms also address a “Gifts” section (new in App Store terms and modified in iTunes Store terms) that now includes discussion of a newly-added ability to gift App Store applications to other users.

Recent reports have indicated that the “Gifts” section of the iTunes Store’s Terms of Sale has been altered to clarify that Gifts may not be used for in-app purchases, upgrades, or the iPod Touch OS, to explain that some gifts require compatible hardware and parental control settings so they can be redeemed, and to notify you that even though gifts are non-refundable, this is without prejudice to your statutory rights to a refund in the event that a gift is faulty or has been misdescribed.

To send an app, select the “Gift This App” option next to an application takes users to a special screen where they can fill in their name, the recipient’s name and email address, and a message to the recipient. Users can also specify multiple recipients and will be billed according to the number of email addresses listed.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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