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I would like to buy a game (well several copies of it really) for some of my friends for Christmas. Is there any way to do this? Would I have to rely on the publisher, or is there some way to "gift" apps from the market?

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    As far as I know, there is no way to currently do this with the Android Market. They're missing a business opportunity here. I can't speak to other app stores, but even if they do have such a feature your friends would need to know how to side-load apk files.
    – ale
    Dec 23, 2010 at 4:59
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    @Al: I concur, but I think you should add "Buy, send & side load" as an answer because it is a legit way to accomplish what he's asking and as far as I can see its the only way.
    – Matt
    Dec 23, 2010 at 18:09

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Update: Google Play Gift Cards are now widely available in many countries. Thanks to @Chahk for reminding me to update.

Amazon has released their own Android Appstore which allow you to send Amazon gift cards that are redeemable for Android Apps. This requires a few extra steps, but should let you gift what you want to until this function gets added to the original Android Market Google Play Store.

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    Gift cards force me to pay 15€ when I want to give away an app for 2€, which is a waste in particular if its not a gift but should rather pass an app to the kids or the partner.
    – Harald
    Jan 14, 2017 at 13:22

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