Apple reactivates iOS app gift giving with new scheduling feature
Months after quietly removing an iOS software feature enabling users to purchase and send mobile applications and games as gifts, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has restored the functionality in time for the holiday season, adding new scheduling capabilities in the process.
While the Send Gift option was present in iOS 5 and below, Apple deleted the feature with the September release of its iOS 6 platform update. Apps may be mailed to other iOS device users by selecting the action button at the top-right corner of its information card and clicking the "Gift" option; from there, senders select the recipient and add a short message if they wish.
While the previous iteration of Send Gift mailed the iOS app to its intended recipient immediately after purchase, senders may now opt to schedule delivery as far as 90 days in advance as well. Send Gift also supports multiple recipients, allowing consumers to give the same app to different friends and family members in a single transaction.
Consumers have downloaded more than 35 million iOS apps to date. Speaking in September at Apple's iPhone 5 launch event, CEO Tim Cook said that 90 percent of all iOS applications in the App Store are downloaded at least once every month: "There's something [in the App Store] for everyone," he said. "And believe it or not, every app has its fans." Cook added that the average iOS device owner uses more than 100 apps in all.
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