You Can Now Gift In-App Purchases From The Apple App Store


In a surprising change, Apple is now allowing in-app purchases from the App Store to be given as gifts to other users — just in time for the holiday season.

The Cupertino brand has tweaked its App Store guidelines for gifting in-app purchases, which now lets users gift not just entire paid apps, but also microtransactions as well. Previously, users could only give paid apps to other folks.

Gifting In-App Purchases On Apple App Store Now Possible

MacRumors first spotted the change, which is now published on Apple's official App Store Review Guidelines documentation.

"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 reads.

The move makes plenty of sense, especially considering the ballooning number of apps pivoting to a free-to-try or subscription model, with various content only available through an in-app purchase. Apple at one point likely saw the value in in-app purchases, especially since microtransactions are now a huge part of what makes many apps carve out a profit.

It's still not clear just how gifting in-app purchases would work, but Apple is expected to add a new in-app purchase gifting option to its App Store interface. Right now, on a specific product page on the App Store, tapping on the three dot icon for a free game still only shows "share App" and "more by this developer" as the two options. There will likely be a third one that says something along the lines of "Gift in-app purchases."

In any case, make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more. Apple will likely send more information to developers sooner rather than later.

Freemium Games Aren't Going Anywhere

Free-to-play games will likely become a crucial and fundamental component of the App Store for a very long time, which is why it makes perfect sense for Apple to implement this change now. This isn't the first time for Apple to meddle with free-to-play titles, either. Last year, the company required iOS games with loot boxes to fully disclose odds of certain items appearing.

Thoughts about finally being able to gift in-app purchases from the App Store? Do you think the company should have enabled this earlier? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!

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