What the Tech? Last minute gift ideas
Don't get caught empty-handed when someone you didn't expect, hands you a Christmas gift. These gift ideas can be purchased and sent instantly from your smartphone. You can even buy the gift before the rest of the family finishes opening their presents.
Have you ever been caught in the awkward position of getting a gift from someone you didn't know was giving anything to you? It's happened to me a couple of times at parties and even at work. What can you do besides saying "Oh...yours is in the car" or "I forgot yours at home"?
Nowadays, all you need is a smartphone and their email address and you can purchase and send a gift in seconds.
Instead of just another iTunes gift card why not pick out a movie or album from their favorite artist and gifting it to them? If you open the iTunes Store app on an iPhone you can pick out a movie or album and with a couple of clicks their gifted download will arrive.
Find the movie you want to gift then look at the top right of the screen for the share button, which looks like house or a box with a pointed top. Tap the icon and a few options appear at the bottom of the screen, one of which is "gift". Enter their name and email address and add a message and they'll receive a download code in a matter of minutes. You can also do the same with books in Apple's Books app.
I haven't been able to find similar options within the Google Play Store for Android devices.
You can purchase Amazon gift cards online and send them instantly to anyone with an email address. Unfortunately, you can't purchase and send a Kindle book using a smartphone or mobile device. You'll need a laptop for that. I thought sending a 3-month subscription to Audible would be nice, but you can only send Amazon gift cards where they'll choose what to buy.
My favorite gift this year that can be purchased and sent instantly is a gift card from MoviePass. If you haven't heard of this subscription and service, MoviePass allows the user to see 1 movie in the theater every day.
To purchase a gift certificate from MoviePass just go to www.moviepass.com on a computer or smartphone.
Your friend will receive an email immediately notifying them of the gift and they'll be instructed to download the app, a debit card will arrive in their mailbox a few weeks later.
Here's how MoviePass works. Users have the MoviePass app downloaded on to their phone and they'll also receive a MoviePass debit card. When you want to see a movie you take your phone to a theater (you must be within 100 yards) and check in for the movie you want to watch on the app.
If it's eligible (only standard definition and only at participating theaters) you'll get a notification that your ticket is reserved and MoviePass loads the debit card with the amount needed to cover the cost of the ticket. When you purchase the ticket at the box office, you pay with the loaded debit card.
A MoviePass subscription is $9.99 per month. Gifts can be purchased and sent from the website.