When it comes to gift cards, I tend to have a love/hate relationship with them. On the one hand, I love receiving and giving them to others as you can never go wrong with getting gift cards for someone else. On the other hand, I hate having to keep track of all the ones that I do get. I either lose them, or they just sit in my desk collecting dust because I just forget to use them. I have always longed for a better solution.
When Passbook was introduced with iOS 6, I got a little excited, as I thought it would help me solve my gift card problem. But unfortunately, it is still in its infant stage and has some work to do. The good thing about Passbook though, is that there is no shortage of developers that are creating their apps with it in mind. Like the app I am reviewing today, Gyft, looks to solve the gift card dilema with their app and with the help of Passbook. Let me show you what I’m talking about after the break.
Uploading Your Gift Cards
What originally got me excited about this app was that I could virtually upload just about all of my gift cards to it and not have to worry about whether I had them or not when I went to a store to use them. They give you a huge selection of stores to choose from when you are ready to add your card, and as I was glancing through the list, I could find just about every major store that I could think of.
They make it really easy to add your gift card to the app itself by having you fill out some information about your card. All you have to do is enter in the gift card number and the pin if it has one. Then Gyft checks to see if your card is accurate and is able to let you know how much is left on your card in a matter of seconds. Once this is done, you can add additional information like an expiration date, a card cover and you can even snap a shot of the card itself, for backup purposes, if your card on your iPhone doesn’t work when you go to use it.
Using or Gyfting Your Card
Not only can you upload your card to the app, but you can actually put it to good use in a couple of different ways. The first being the most obvious, is that when you go to the store to use it, you can just open up the app and a bar code appears that can be scanned for your purchase. I have yet to test this out in real life so I am not 100% sure how accurate it will be as I have had trouble with other apps that can be scanned, but haven’t worked.
Your other option is that you can “gyft” your card to someone else. I know there are times when I get the obscure gift card that I know I will never use, but you can’t necessarily return it in exchange for something else, so I end up regifting it and giving it to someone else. Well, you can take this same concept and apply it to Gyft, by virtually regifting a card to give to a friend. You can easily do this by choosing one of your Facebook friends or someone from your iPhone contacts to give it to. Then you have a variety of methods to deliver the card, either through Facebook, email or text message. You can also choose a delivery date or it can be instantly delivered.
When it comes to giving someone else a gift card, you don’t necessarily have to use one that you already own. You can choose to select one from the huge selection that Gyft provides you along with a dollar amount. They make it really easy to find the one you want and then pay for it and send it to the recepient all within the app itself.
Yes, much has been made about Pasbook as Apple’s way of coming up with a solution for the virtual wallet and although I have my personal thoughts about it, I absolutely love that Gyft has integrated their app into it. With Gyft, any card that you add can also be added to Passbook, and you don’t need to have that corresponding app on your iPhone. For example, I have a McDonald’s gift card within Gyft and usually in order for me to have it in Passbook, I would also have to have a McDonald’s app on my iPhone that enables me to have it in Passbook. But, with Gyft, I don’t have to do this, I can just easily transfer it straight from Gyft to Passbook, without having to even worry if I have the app or not. Now, that feature right there is worth downloading this app right now!
From the minute I started playing around with Gyft, I knew that this app was going to be a good one. There are two things that make me really appreciate this app. One, I love how easy it is to add and “gyft” a card from within the app. Two, I absolutely love the Passbook integration that Gyft has implemented. In my opinion, Apple should just buy Gyft and implement it into Passbook, it just makes sense, and in the words of Steve Jobs, “It just works!”
If you have some gift cards laying around the house and are like me where you tend to lose them or never use them, then you have to go and download Gyft right now. You can get it free on the App Store and never have to worry about physical gift cards again.