Apps are a great gift to that person on your holiday shopping list that already has an iOS device. You used to be able to do this from in the App Store, but that was taken away as of iOS 6. iTunes gift cards were the only way to go.
Now, however, the option to send apps as gifts is back, along with a way to schedule the gifting email so you can better target a birthday or, say, winter holiday that might be coming up. Hint, hint.
First of all, tap the App Store icon on your iOS device of choice to launch it. Find the app you want to gift (there are a bunch of great ones in our Cult of Mac advent calendar), and tap the Sharing button in the upper right. It’s that little square-ish icon with the curved arrow pointing up and to the right.
Tap on the Gift icon in the Sharing panel that pops up from the bottom of the screen, enter the email of the person you’re gifting hte app to, and a short, 200 character message of holiday cheer. Scroll tot he bottom, and you can set the gift to go to your recipient today, or on a different date, up to 90 days in advance. Sweet!
Hit the Next button in the upper right, choose a visual theme for your virtual gift, and then confirm your gift with a tap on the Buy Gift button in the upper right. Once confirmed, your iTunes account will be charged, and you can tap Done to get out of the gifting area, or Send Another Gift to do just that.