Gift a Download this Season

In this strapped-for-time season, what if you had an instant, smart way to give gifts —glitzy or geeky? No gift-wrapping, no envelopes, not even those little plastic cards. All you do is pull out your eDevice, browse, select, pay and e-mail gifts that are downloaded or printed out. No fuss, no delay. Gifts as digital downloads, directly to smartphones, laptops, tablets and e-readers, OS no bar.

“Getting a downloadable gift is a nice idea,” said Bengaluru-based Ronak Gandhi a tech engineer and travel enthusiast. He isn’t sure it’ll work for all age groups, “but it will definitely be a hit among youngsters (below age 25), the group crazy about apps.” What about you, Ronak? “Won’t mind a nice game,” he said. If you’re buying for this handsome youngster, here’s a reliable tip: He’s into racing games, so go for NFS Hot Pursuit, Shift or Asphalt 5/6. FPS games such as Modern Combat, Assassin’s Creed are fine too, thanks. “Oh, anything,” said the married-with-kids techie, Mahesh. “Games, movies, music, books, magazines.” His tip: “The best would be gift cards through an online retailer like Amazon.” Professional blogger Amit Agarwal ( dreams of Kindle books and iPhone / iPad apps “though my favourite digital gift would be a Flipkart voucher.” Techie Rajesh would “love someone to send me Starbucks mobile coupons.” The URL, just in case…

Ready to match gifts with people? Send a subscription for Pandora One (radio stations), The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (buy, enter key-code of target’s Battle Net account (the update auto-downloads!), TV – Hulu Plus (sent via e-mail to watch TV shows on any web-enabled device) or e-Bay gift certificate (buy anything). To send a book for a Kindle owner, head to the Kindle e-book store on Amazon’s website. Click on a book title, and the “give as a gift” option. You pay, Amazon sends email to the recipient, who clicks on a link to accept the gift, sends title to her Kindle device. At Amazon you choose a specific Kindle e-book as a gift. Barnes & Noble and Sony direct you to purchase a physical gift card or send an electronic one via email.

Gift a tune

For iPads/iPhones, create an account at iTunes, go to iTunes store section, browse for the album/TV series/game. Buy a gift and iTunes sends an email to your recipient, who just clicks a link. Your gift starts downloading to your recipient’s iTunes library, ready to play or sync to iPod, iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. (Details: Gifts from iTunes are delivered at once, so your timing is vital.

Group-discount sites like Groupon and LivingSocial have good deals and convenient “give as a gift” options on the main page. Send the gift to yourself, forward it later. LivingSocial lets you set a date for delivery, making the surprise easier. Just one hitch here: The loved one will know you paid less. Good or bad? If you’re a cash-strapped Facebook devotee, well, social gifting is now so much easier. An interesting app on Lord & Taylor’s Facebook page lets you set a delivery date after picking the recipient and the spending amount. Pay for the gift card, and invite others to contribute additional cash! Tweet or email the link, or send a quick Facebook message (But don’t put it on your wall!). On the delivery date, the recipient will get an email/Facebook message showing how much each person contributed; they can send the gift to their phone or print out a barcode to redeem the certificate. Internet startups like KangoGift let you send gift certificates for everything from a cup of coffee to a yoga class package to a cellphone or a Facebook page. You use your phone to “show and shop” at the store! Shop at or, but send the gifts only to the tech-savvy. On websites like Steam and Blizzard, the sending-receiving steps have been neatly streamlined.

Mega deals

Buying locally? From Aroma Thai, Big Flix to Lifestyle and Shoppers Stop, more than a hundred stores offer mega deals in gift vouchers that are easy to navigate. “Log on to Odyssey360 or Landmarkonthenet for choosing gifts,” informed Parandaman at the Odyssey Store, Adyar. If you’re gifting a voucher from his store, an assistant will visit you with a card-swiping machine and reach the voucher to the recipient, he said.

That’s a load off the gift-buying mission? Instantly delivered, downloadable gifts allow receivers redeem gifts, play games as soon as you’ve paid for it. Great. But aren’t we missing something here? How are you going to get credit for buying effort? Is a download on the smartphone the same as pulling out the wrapper and opening the box? Where is the thrill of anticipation? broadcasts delivery live, but does it equal being there when the giftee opens the box? And what about the loss of the hug? Sorry, technology hasn’t fixed that problem yet.


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Posted on December 15, 2011, in Attractions, Entertainment, Hobby, Technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It is an amazing and great informative blog… I really love to read some more! – xploder

  1. Pingback: Gift a Download this Season | BESTTOPIC | It's a News site

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