There has probably come a time in your life when you remembered you had a party or event to go to and then realized you completely forgot to buy a gift. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, don’t worry, it will eventually. Still, it’s inconvenient to rush around and try to find a last-minute gift that you still have to wrap and find a card for.
So don’t do that. The iPhone has several options for sending last-minute gifts that end up being just as delightful as anything else. Whether these are built right into the App Store or require third-party apps to make purchases, all you need is your smartphone and a few minutes of your time to send someone a great present.
Also on Guiding Tech
Giftagram is a fantastic app that has saved me on more than one occasion. It has a wide assortment of gifts that you can pick out to send someone and it arrives right on their doorstep — everything from cocktail sets, candies, gadgets, charms, corporate and more. You can browse through the selection and tap the heart icon to favorite what you like, then tap Gift this to send it off to someone.
It works as a last-minute option because when you purchase a gift, you immediately send a text message notification to the recipient. She gets to read her card in advance and then also put in her shipping address to receive the gift. Your credit card is charged once this happens and the gift is shipped out to arrive in a few days or so. Even though technically the gift is arriving later, the recipient gets notified about it the exact day you want.
Giftagram is free for iOS and works in United States or Canada.
Hintsy is another app very similar to Giftagram, but with a creative twist. It lets you create gift boxes of multiple items (or choose a pre-made gift box) to send to a loved one. But unlike Giftagram, Hintsy also lets you add a customizable themed card and gift wrap so it arrives neatly packaged.
The one downside to Hintsy is that you have to put in the shipping address rather than let the recipient enter that information in. That makes it a bit more difficult to obviously send beforehand. Still, Hintsy has a wide range of gifts and gift boxes that you can ship off with a few taps.
Hintsy is free for iOS and available in the United States only.
3. iTunes Gift Card
When pressed for time, just send a digital gift. Anyone with an iPhone can use an iTunes Gift Card somehow whether the money gets spent on apps, music, movie rentals or something else. It’s a versatile gift that’s still thoughtful and you can send one right from your iPhone and into someone’s email inbox.
Just open either the iTunes Store or App Store on your iPhone and on the Music or Featured pages, scroll all the way to the bottom to find Send Gift. Tap that and enter in the email address, a small message and the amount you want the gift card to be for.
You can also optionally send it some day in the future by tapping Today and changing the date.
Note: iTunes and App Store gifts can only be redeemed in the country they’re sent from.
4. Amazon Gift Card
If you already have the Amazon app on your iPhone, you have pretty easy access to send an Amazon gift card. If not, download it and get moving. Amazon gift cards are the ultimate present because you’re not quite giving cash but the recipient can still buy almost anything with it.
To send a gift card from your iPhone, first open the Amazon app and tap the menu icon at the top left. Then select Gift Cards & Registry and again select the Gift Cards banner at the top. For the sake of urgency, I recommend either sending an eGift Card or printing one out at home that you can immediately give in person.
Choose a card design or customize it with a photo if you’d like and pick the card amount. For eGifts, you’ll also have to type in details about the recipient and choose a date to send it.
When all else fails, send someone an expensive app they might want. Since apps tend to be cheap, consider buying a few — but hey, we’re just here to tell you the “how” and not the “how much.”
Just go to any paid app in the App Store on your iPhone and tap the Share icon. Then choose Gift. This sheet looks nearly identical to sending an iTunes gift card, so just type in the email address, a short message and pick a time to send the app.