This morning I ‘gifted’ an app to my daughter – the new Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, and was looking forward to seeing how it looks on her iPod Touch. The gift email landed in her account straight away just as it’s supposed to – but actually redeeming it and getting the app proved a big fail […]
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An Ugly Error on a ‘Gifted’ iPhone App & an Easy, Stupid Fix

App Store gift email

This morning I ‘gifted’ an app to my daughter – the new Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, and was looking forward to seeing how it looks on her iPod Touch. The gift email landed in her account straight away just as it’s supposed to – but actually redeeming it and getting the app proved a big fail for some time this morning.

When you receive an email after somebody has gifted an app to you, there is only one way to redeem the app.  You need to tap the ‘Redeem Now’ button within the email.  So that’s what I did – and that took me out to Mobile Safari and generated a ‘too many redirects’ type error:

Error1

I re-tried several times. Tried closing all other pages open in Safari and clearing its cache.  No change – same error each time.  So I rebooted the Touch and tried again.  That got me a new error in Safari, a 404 page not found type this time:

Error2

Once again I tried several times and consistently got the same error.  So I submitted a support request from at the iTunes support section for gifting – those folks don’t do live chats or phone support and say they’ll take up to 24 hours to respond to support requests.

Just for grins, a little while after submitting my support request I tried the Redeem Now link in the email again, just to see if I would get a third different error.  And lo and behold this time it worked.  It went to a proper iTunes page and had me verify the iTunes account, and then auto-populated the redeem code field and happily started downloading the gifted app.

So the solution to the stupid Safari errors on a gifted app: just keep trying.

Since I find that a very dumb solution, a quick suggestion for Apple on how to make this a hell of a lot easier:

Include the actual gift code in the email.  So that it can be copied/pasted manually by the user if needed, say if the Redeem Now button goes completely borked for a while for example. 🙂

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