Android Gift Cards: The Best Holiday Gift of 2011


The holiday season is nearly upon us and pretty soon gift seekers will be rampaging around retailers looking for the perfect gift. The best gift you could give an Android lover, or anyone with an Android device, is an Android Gift Card allowing them to buy apps, games, music, and movies at their leisure. They could even make in-app purchases, redeem coupon codes, or take advantage of special gift promotions.

Android Gift Cards are the best holiday gift of 2011… but they don’t exist.

I’m desperately hoping this is a surprise announcement included in today’s Google Event. I think it would be an instant success, net a ton of revenue for Google, and encourage spending on apps, games, and media from mobile devices. Has anyone besides me wished Android Gift Cards already existed?

In my mind, this is one major advantage that Apple has over Android. App and Game developers can provide users with promo codes that offer discounts and even free apps. Want to run a contest for free copies of your app? No problem! Want to hold a special offer where the first X people get a promo code for a 50% discount? No problem! How about providing promo codes to journalists (ahem) so they can easily review paid versions of apps and games without having to work out a way to be reimbursed by the developing company? Yes please.

We’re fully expecting Google’s event today to focus on Google Music and based on the invitation, we’re also expecting T-Mobile to be involved somehow/someway. But when you start incorporating more forms of media and entertainment into an online store, the need for coupons, gift cards, and promo codes greatly expands. It’s possible that Android Gift Cards are one component to today’s announcement, although I’ve heard it mentioned nowhere beyond my own brain.

Assuming Android Gift Cards don’t become a reality today, how many people would urge Google to make them available in the immediate future?


Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Mean! I was thinking how wonderful of a gift this would be for my little brother who doesn’t have a credit/debit card (he’s young) and you got my hopes all up!

    Also, first.

    1. same, only I would be my own little brother…..wait…thats weird…..What I meant to say was that I was exicited about this for myself, as I do not have a credit card! :(

    2. get him an american express pass card, its completely safe, and works with google checkout https://www212.americanexpress.com/dsmlive/dsm/dom/us/en/personal/cardmember/additionalproductsandservices/giftcardsandtravelerscheques/no25.do?vgnextoid=16e4998ee7b0b210VgnVCM200000d0faad94RCRD&vgnextchannel=95ddb81e8482a110VgnVCM100000defaad94RCRD&appInstanceName=default&vgnextnoice=1&name=no25&type=intbenefitdetail&source=search_ne_pass&ne_sadid=7897238600&ne_ppc_id=951&ne_key_id=8209551&gclid=COLTnueGw6wCFdAEQAodYHdpqQ

    3. I bought a prepaid visa debit card so I can buy stuff online (including apps and music) and I’m 15. You should get him one of those. They’re also reloadable. ^^

    4. Thanks guys! Hadn’t thought about those options!

  2. I have also wanted to explicitly gift someone an app before. I know you can buy iOS apps for your friends. Would love to see the same functionality come to android!

  3. I only use free stuff from Google

  4. I’ve been wishing this since the day i got my android phone…

  5. Yeah, I wanted to put these on my wish list this year

  6. Sounds like a good idea to me.

  7. I also have felt that Google should have had a gift card available. I thought when they revamped the market they were going to announce one. I’ve gifted many an iTunes card to friends and family with iOS devices. Well actually I throw it at them…but still.

  8. Did you purposely make it look like the guy on the $15 gift card was getting squished by the Google gift card? 

    1. ;)

  9. This would be f-ing awesome.

  10. I have been saying Google should do this for years.  My son has spent over $300 in the last year and 1 month alone on Apps alone for his I-Pod touch because of gift cards, while I have spend less than $50 on my android apps in the 2.5 years I have had an Android phone.  This is why developers make more money on i-phone/pod apps than android even though more people have Android.

    1. you let your son spend 300$ on apps?

  11. I swear when I saw this I was like YESS but as I read hopes dead out. :( I do wish El Google did something like this. I wish for side loading my apple apps to android more. Well back to playing super metroid on my phone :).

  12. now apple is gonig to sue that they patented the gift card for the appstore

  13. This has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time.
    Also, I’d love to buy other people apps, but I can’t figure out how to buy an app for my sister, aside from having her buy it and I pay her the $2.
    Another thing I would like to see in the market is a “Wish List” similar to Amazon’s new “Save for later” so I can bookmark apps to investigate further.

  14. This website Printapons is too cool. I use promo codes alot and hate having to look all over the place for them.

  15. now if only they’d open up this idea to apps and not just music.  I’d love to buy someone an app on my card and have it load on their phone.  “hey!  I just bought this great keyboard app that I thought you’d like.”  or something like that.  But, the market isn’t set up for that…yet.

  16. It’s time someone tackled this – so we did!  Mobiroo App Gift cards
    feature the top-ranked apps for Android and Blackberry devices.  We’re
    available across North America (Best Buy, Future Shop, Target, etc.)
    just in time for the holiday season.

    Check us out at http://www.Mobiroo.com!

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