The iTunes App Store makes it easy to buy an app or game on behalf of someone else, and it's a great way to send a thoughtful gift to an iPhone user. The Google Play Store does not have this functionality, but there are still some workarounds to accomplish the same goal: giving an app to an Android user.
None is perfect, but I'll explain a few different methods Get an app for someone else. You can either buy them a Google Play gift card, send them money via Google Mail with Google Pay, or add them to your Google Play Family library and simply buy the app from your own account. Depending on who you choose, one of these methods will work best for you.
Jump to a section: Method of Family Library | Google Pay method | Method of Gift Cards
: Add the App to the Family Library
The best way to buy an Android app for other people is to add it to your Google Play family library. In essence, you buy the app through your own account, and the recipient can download the app as if they had paid for it.
However, this method has a disadvantage. You must add the recipient to your Google Play family library. This is ideal for families, but not the perfect solution when giving an app to a friend. The main issue is that members of your Google Play family have access to your payment method, so they'll be able to buy apps and other Google Play items with their credit cards in the future.
If this is OK, start the Play Store app on your Android phone first. Open the page navigation menu (Hamburger icon top left), scroll down and select "Account". Select "Family" and tap "Sign up for Family Library". If you're working on a computer, you can do so on the Google website .
Tap on "Login" and then press "Next" twice. You will be asked to enter a payment method for your family account. Select "Setup" and enter your credit or debit card number. Keep in mind that other people in your Google Play family can use this card to shop in the Play Store.
Now you have the option to add your existing app and game purchases to the Family Library – this is not the case. You can buy it later for the app that you absolutely must "give". However, if you want the gift recipient to have access to the apps you've purchased in the past, tap Next. Then select "Add all eligible purchases now" and click "Next" again.
At this point, you need to give the person you are giving an app to your Google Play family Add. Select "Next" and tap the name of the person in your contact list to select it. You can choose up to five people to add to your Google Play family. However, if you have selected all people, tap Send.
At this point, the people or people you've added to your Google Play family will get one E-mail. All you have to do is tap Accept Invitation, sign in with your Google Account and follow the instructions on the following page.
For now, you may think this is more of a hassle than it's worth – but things are getting better now much easier and in the future. If you want to give an app or game to a person in your Google Play family from now on, you only need to buy the app on your own device. If you'd like to surprise them, tap the share button on the app's Play Store page and send them a link. At the end, they can install the app as if they had paid for it themselves!
There are some caveats here. First, in-app purchases will not be included in the Google Play Family Library. Second, not all apps are suitable for the family library, although the vast majority do. To see if the recipient can install an app that you want to buy, open the Play Store page and tap "Tell me more" under the description. Scroll down and search for "eligible family library" – if you see this, you can buy the app and know that the recipient can download it for free on their device.
The great thing about the Google Play Family Library is that it's not just for apps and games. Movies, books, music, YouTube Premium and YouTube TV subscriptions, as well as other non-hardware purchases on Google Play are allowed, so you can share almost all your digital purchases.
Method 2: Send Google Pay Money via Gmail  An easier way to buy someone an app is to give them the money to buy them. While it does not have the surprise factor or feel of a gift that the purchase would come through the family library, it does not have the disadvantages of inappropriate apps and approved billing information. This solution is best if you want to buy an app for a friend, cousin, or nephew rather than a direct family member.
Because every Play Store user has a Gmail address, and the Play Store accepts Google Pay as a form of payment. If you want to cash in on an application for a payment, you can attach it to a Gmail message. To do this, email the Google Account you use on your phone, and then press the attach button. Select "Send money" and enter your payment information if you are not prompted.
Same as Method 2, they need to change their payment method when they purchase the app. On the paid app's Play Store page, touch "Install" and tap the name of the app on the buy request. From there you can choose "Payment Methods" and then choose "Google Play Balance" to complete the transaction.