Friday, December 14, 2012

App gifting reactivated on iOS by Apple

It is time to be jolly indeed as Apple has returned the ability to gift apps from the App Store back to iOS 6 devices. The gift option had previously disappeared rather mysteriously from iOS 6 before the launch.

This time round, though, the share function is found in the system-wide action sheet instead of the bottom of the app listing. Searching for the gift option may be a little annoying as it is tucked into a corner of the ‘share’ option rather than be kept in plain sight. It could be why, not a lot of people have discovered this option yet.

Find & Call is the first ever iOS malware
Gifting comes back to the App Store!

The gifting option makes it the perfect launch to the countdown to Christmas with its ability to postpone sending the apps out as gifts. You can choose to send the gift ‘today’ or on any other date, upto 90 days in advance. A good move by Apple, this makes it convenient to send out more than one of the apps as gifts to multiple recipients for the holiday season.

The gift function was available in devices running iOS 5 and was supposed to be a part of iOS 6 too, but for some undisclosed reasons, Apple scrapped the plan of putting the feature in the newer version. Previously, you only needed to scroll down to find the gift button, but this time round, it has been hidden within the action sheet.

Devices running iOS 5 and lower can still gift apps from the link available on the store. iTunes gift cards and gifting via iTunes still remain popular modes of gifting.

Postponing sending out an app is also possible
Postponing sending out an app is also possible

Meanwhile, iTunes Store finally hit India in the beginning of December, making purchases possible in the Store using Indian currency. The iTunes Store is widely used and loved in the United States as it is elsewhere, with convenient services where users can purchase tracks for as cheap as 99 cents. The service took really long to come to India and had not been accessible in Indian currency for this long.

Users of devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are now able to purchase local and international music from the iTunes store. Single songs are priced anywhere between Rs 7 to Rs 15 and entire albums start from Rs 70. The store now features Bollywood and Tamil film tracks as well as international music.

Apple has also launched the iTunes Match service in the country. This service allows users to store all the music they’ve bought from sources other than iTunes to the cloud for easy  accessibility. The Match service will cost Rs 1,200 a year, a decent price to pay for music lovers who cannot bear the thought of being away from their music collection.

A great feature that the iTunes Store offers Indian consumers is the option to rent out movies instead of purchasing them. For example, the Salman Khan starrer Ek Tha Tiger in HD, which is available for purchase for Rs 290, can be rented for a one time watch for Rs 120. Non-HD movies are available for as low as Rs 190 for purchase and Rs 80 to rent.

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