Why can’t we gift apps and media from the Google Play Store yet?


We know there is a problem when a company that lives on its internet presence won’t allow us to gift its services and products via the internet. Such is the case with Google and its Play Store, where one purchases apps, movies, music books and even devices.

I was reminded of this problem while going through the Chromespot forums and finding a post about purchasing books for students. As Chromebooks make their way to classrooms across the world, we need better solutions for providing media to students and users. What is the best way to do this right now?

Users are opting for non-Google services

Chroembooks are running on a complete Google experience. The Chrome laptops are meant to be deeply integrated with he Search Giant’s services, but users have been opting for other online services when Google can’t bring the goods home.

A good solution is to use Amazon’s Kindle services. Holding the #1 spot in E-Book distribution, Amazon not only has a great selection and solid distribution system. Amazon does happen to offer gifting even lending! Not to mention you can even sign up with your local library and check books out. It’s really the whole package, and books can be accessed from all major platforms and smart devices.


What is the best way to gift from the Google Play Store?

google-play-gift-cardsCurrently, the gifting system is a joke. Unless you are using the same Google account (which can be a horrible idea), the only way is to give someone a Google Play Store gift card. There is also a big problem with this, though – the only way to give someone a Google Play Store gift card is by physically handing it to them (or having it shipped).

The user literally needs to redeem the physical gift card. Unless you just give them the codes and details, I suppose. In either case, you are left with a rather burdensome procedure.

Will this issue be fixed?

We can only assume digital Google Play Store gift cards are in the works. It would be a bit unreasonable to keep them exclusively offline, especially coming from Google. As for gifting and lending digital content, Google only says they are “currently” not supporting it. This leaves the door open to the idea, but only the Mountain View folks know what is in the works.


The current system won’t help at making Chromebooks successful in the education market (as well as other markets). Google’s product tend to grow and improve with time, but there needs to be a bigger focus on these smaller details that make or break a service/product.

The biggest shopping season of the year is right around the corner. Will Google try to take advantage of it by making it easier to give content or gift cards? We doubt it will happen this soon. I suppose we will be praying for change to take place next year.

And while we are at it – when is the Chrome Web Store being integrated to Google Play?!