Apple Changes App Store Rules to Allow Users to Gift In-App Purchases to Friends and Family

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 19, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple today made a tweak to its App Store Review Guidelines, allowing developers to implement a new feature that will let iOS users purchase in-app content as a gift.

    Right now, iOS users can purchase paid apps as gifts for other iOS users, but there's no way to purchase in-app content as a gift. As more and more apps work on a free-to-try or subscription basis with various content only available through an in-app purchase, this change to the in-app purchase rules makes sense.

    The new in-app purchase gifting rule is outlined in Apple's updated App Store Review Guidelines.

    Before the change: "Apps should not directly or indirectly enable gifting of in-app purchase content, features, or consumable items to others."

    After the change: "Apps may enable gifting of items that are eligible for in-app purchase to others. Such gifts may only be refunded to the original purchaser and may not be exchanged."

    It's not entirely clear how gifting an in-app purchase will be handled, but Apple may be planning to add new in-app purchase gifting options to its App Store interface. Apple may soon send more information about the in-app purchase gifting change to developers.


    Right now, to gift a paid app to a person, a user needs to open up the App Store, tap on the three dots icon next to an app's price, and choose the "Gift App..." option. This brings up an interface for sending an App Store credit for a specific app to a contact via email.

    Article Link: Apple Changes App Store Rules to Allow Users to Gift In-App Purchases to Friends and Family
  2. Tobsen macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2002
  3. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Hmm the hated business model, unless your a developer, has just been awarded a new way to make money as if it needed it, and earn Apple its 30%. I hope they won’t allow this in betting apps?
  4. Mike MA, Dec 19, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018

    Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    Sorry Apple, but surely will never put this under the Christmas tree.
  5. m4mario macrumors member


    May 10, 2017
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Say what you want. People are not buying paid apps anymore. It's dropped significantly. The same paid app, when it becomes free and has an in-App purchase to unlock features has a better success rate, even if its the same features and same price as when it was paid.
  6. linkmaster02 macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Finally! There are so many free games with premium currency that would make great gifts to friends.
  7. MilaM macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2017
    While I hate subscriptions for most apps apps, I do understand and support one time in-app payments for "pro" features. Actually there is one in-app purchase I wanted to buy for a relative for a long time. Now I'm hoping this particular company is going to support this soon.

    As far as I understand it the developers have to implement this change first.
  8. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    That just sounds like a end-around Apple's refusal to implement a way to demo an app. It let's the developer code in a demo of sorts - like Infuse does.

    If Apple just allowed proper demoing, then maybe the IAPs as a way to purchase an app wouldn't be so common.
  9. pat500000 macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2015
  10. msama macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2017
    It seems apple is trying to eke out profits all of a sudden.
  11. m4mario macrumors member


    May 10, 2017
    San Francisco Bay Area
    The success of Fortnite and removal of Infinity Blade (both from the same company) in the App store clearly mark customers' preferences.
  12. Cosmosent macrumors 6502a

    Apr 20, 2016
    La Jolla, CA
    A better option right now, would be for AAPL to subsidize In App Purchases for 6 months or so.

    That might spur Sales, of NOT just apps but ALSO iPhones, much more than everything they have tried lately.

    However, Tim Cook has a Hardware Manufacturing Operations background, & has been CEO since 2011, so set your Expectations Low !
  13. Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    When the hell will the Mac App Store (aka MAS) have the ability to gift apps to others?
  14. martyjmclean macrumors 6502


    Jan 24, 2018
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    When the Mac App Store actually gets apps.

    I kid, I’ve bought loads of useful apps from the App Store.
  15. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Luckily its *only*t o family and friends, since you'll have a better idea "who" has the app as well...

    This will be next to impossible for non-friends . Unless perhaps the catch could be "Dowloadn the app first, then apply the gift for in-app"

    That'll work :D

    If a friend, your more likely to know they also have the app already.
  16. oneofakind macrumors member


    May 1, 2012
    Bay Area
    I'm still waiting on Ringtones to be "giftable"
  17. AgentOSX macrumors member


    Sep 4, 2017
    So what? A Family Organizer with a gift card balance still cannot use that balance for purchases made by anyone in the family. That’s stupid.
  18. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    So much this! The fact IAPs aren't available to all the family sucks big time. I'd rather take a lesser app that is a one-time purchase that the family can use, over one that has IAPs
  19. bigboy29 macrumors regular

    May 19, 2016
    Can you give an app to someone in another country, I wonder?
  20. Santiago macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2002
    Mountain View, California
    Yeah. What they really need to do is draw a clear line between one-time IAP (pro features, ad removal, content packs) and repeatable IAP (500 gems for $6.99), so they can clearly differentiate the two in the App Store and make the one-time stuff available through Family Sharing.
  21. whyamihere macrumors 6502


    Jun 30, 2008
    Feel free to gift Stardew Valley to me as well :)
  22. OlliFlamme macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2018
    Exactly. Like Infuse: should we really hve to pay for each user of the app, as it actually only is an app when doing the in app purchase...?
    This stinks! All for the Benjamin’s, tsss...

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