The digital realm opens up a whole new set of options for your gift buying. Rather than purchasing another pair of socks or bottle of booze for your loved one, you could gift them a subscription to a music streaming service or a specific app you think they’ll like.
These presents don’t take up room, so they won’t gather dust if they sit unused. Even better, they can be delivered instantly, so they’re perfect for last-minute holiday shopping. And of course, they require no wrapping paper. Here are the best digital gifts on our radar.
If you’ve been loaning a family member your Netflix username and password for months, break that dependence and help them start their own account. Netflix sells gift cards for this exact purpose: You provide a set payment and an email address, and Netflix will send a promo code to the recipient. Then your loved one signs up for an account and applies the promo code. Even if they already have an account, they can apply your gift to get a few free months. Then your friend or relative can stream as many available movies and TV shows as they want for as long as the gift balance lasts. They have the option to keep paying afterward the gift runs out, but don’t worry—you won’t be the one who’s billed every month.
This makes a great gift because you can choose how much to give, from $15 to $100. Depending on the type of account—number of screens, level of resolution—Netflix costs $8 to $14 a month, so choose your price based on what your recipient will want, and you can afford. $15 to $100.
If the person you’re buying for already has Netflix, you can still help them access streaming video: Try purchasing a Hulu gift card instead. Or read on to learn how to buy individual streaming movies.
Spotify is one of the most famous streaming services on the planet—and it’s just as easy to buy a subscription for your loved one as it is to purchase a Netflix gift. With Spotify Premium, your recipient can enjoy benefits like offline playlist syncing and no ads. Once you purchase a gift card, your friend or relative receives a code they can use to sign up, or convert their free account to a premium one, or extend their existing premium subscription. When the balance runs out, they have the option to continue paying.
You can pick up a Spotify gift card online. Prices range from $10 for one month to $30 for three months to $60 for six months, and if you want to give a whole year of music, it will set you back $120. $10 to $120.
Although Spotify stands prominently, you can also buy gift cards to other music-streaming services. For example, while you can’t specifically give an Apple Music subscription, but you can purchase an iTunes Store Gift Card, which the recipient can then use to pay Apple Music’s $10 per month fee.
Seen an app that’s just perfect for someone else in your life? Send it them as a digital present. Well, sort of. On Android, you can’t give specific apps; you have to buy general Google Play Store gift cards, which are only available via third-party sources. You can purchase a card from PayPal, Amazon, Walmart, and a few other online sources, or walk into a physical store like Best Buy, Walmart, or Target.
On top of that, the minimum spend is $10, which is probably enough for several apps, or an app and a movie. You’ll need to specify the app you had in mind in the gift message—and after that, the recipient is free to spend the balance however they like. $10 or more
Gifting an app on the iOS platform is much easier than it is on Android. Once you make your purchase, the recipient gets an email that links direct to the app you specified, all paid for and ready to download. You can arrange to send these gifts immediately or schedule them to arrive on a specific date—such as Christmas morning.
On an iPhone or iPad, find the app you want in the App Store, tap the three dots in the top-right corner of its page, and select Gift App. On a computer, look up the app’s page in iTunes, click the down-arrow next to its price, and choose Gift This. (These gifting options don’t appear next to free apps—for those, you can just email a link.) Follow the prompts to enter the email address of the recipient and an optional message, and finally, Apple will charge your account. The price will depend on the cost of that particular program. Various prices.
When you give someone an Amazon Prime subscription, they’ll get a heap of benefits like faster deliveries, access to a library of streaming videos, unlimited cloud storage for photos, and a Twitch Prime account for video games. This gift is also easy: Amazon has set up a dedicated page for this purpose.
First, you need to decide how long the gift subscription should last, some period between three months ($39) and 12 months ($119). Then enter the recipient’s email address and purchase. Amazon takes your payment right away, but you can choose to delay delivery—up to one whole year—which makes this gift work well for birthdays or special occasions. $39 to $119.
You can treat someone to a movie night without investing in a full streaming subscription—just buy them a film from the Google Play Store or Apple’s iTunes. This is possible on both platforms, although neither has managed to make the process as seamless as we’d like.
When it comes to Android, you run into the same problem you faced with gift apps: You can’t give someone a specific movie from the Play Store. What you can do is buy a Play Store gift card online and have it delivered via email. Then the recipient can spend that credit however they like. If you want to push them towards a certain movie rental or purchase, you’ll have to include that information in the gift message. Various prices.
Over on iTunes, Apple does let you gift specific movies when you provide the recipient’s email address, but this only covers permanent purchases, not rentals. On iOS, open the iTunes Store app, navigate to a movie screen, tap the share button on the top right, and select Gift. On iTunes for a computer, find the film, click the down-arrow next to its price, and choose Gift This Movie. You can also try one of those iTunes Store gift cards—recipients can spend this present on any apps, movies, or other digital content sold by Apple—but the cards won’t be associated with a specific movie. Various prices.
If you have a keen video gamer in your life, then treat them to some free play. Just make sure you’re buying something for a console the recipient actually owns—you can find gift cards for Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox hardware.
For Nintendo, an eShop gift card is the best option—even though it comes in the mail as a physical card with a redeemable code on it, which means that, strictly speaking, it doesn’t belong on this digital gift list. You can buy cards pre-loaded with $10, $20, $35, or $50. Once the giftee enters the code, they can put that amount toward games for the Nintendo Switch, Wii U, or Nintendo 3DS. $10 to $50.
Sony offers PlayStation gift cards that can be redeemed for games or for a feature called PlayStation Plus, which provides online access to multiplayer gaming. These cards, unlike the Nintendo ones, arrive digitally over email. You can purchase values of $10, $20, $50, $60, or $100. If you’d like to cover PlayStation Plus service, that costs $10 for one month of membership and $25 for three. $10 to $100.
As for Microsoft-made consoles, you can pick up an Xbox gift card that works similarly to the PlayStation ones: A code arrives in the recipient’s inbox, and then they can redeem it for games on the Xbox store. You can select any amount between $1 and $100 for the cash value. As with PlayStation, you can also provide access to the online multiplayer service, called Xbox Live Gold—you can cover one month for $10, three months for $25, six months for $40, or a full year for $60. $10 to $100.
via Popular Science – New Technology, Science News, The Future Now https://ift.tt/2k2uJQn
December 9, 2018 at 08:49AM