Did you know that you can send iPad-, iPhone- or iPod-owning friends an app or iBook as a present, and schedule it to arrive on the day of their birthday or other occassion? It's surprisingly easy and a great way to send a gift to a long-distance friend or family member. It's also a great last-minute gift option too.

Take your pick

Take your pick

The first thing you'll need to do, of course, is find the app or iBook you think your friend will like in the iOS App Store or iBook Store.

You can only gift paid apps (so there's no getting away with sending a free present, you sneaky people), and you should check the requirements of the app before you send it to make sure your friends device can run it.

For some ideas on great iOS games, check our our round-up of the best iPad & iPhone games

When you've found the perfect app or book, tap on it and then tap the Share icon in the top right corner (a square with an arrow pointing upwards).

Once you've tapped share, you'll be greeted by a menu from which you can email a link to the app, message a link to the app, tweet a link to the app, post a link to Facebook, copy the link, add the app to your Wish List or Gift the app.

We want to Gift the app, so tap the Gift icon to begin the process.

Choose your recipient

Choose your recipient

You'll now see the 'Send Gift' form, which shows the app you've chosen, and lets you choose who you'd like to send it to.

You'll need to type your friend's email address in the 'To' section. You can send the gift to more than one friend by separating the email addresses with a comma.

It's worth noting that not all apps can be gifted to recipients from other countries. Our gift – Layton's Mystery Journey – could only be redeemed in the UK store.

You can then choose to type a message that will be sent to your friend along with the app. Don't forget though, if you are sending to multiple recipients they will all see the same message. If you want to personalise the message for each friend, you will need to gift the apps separately.

Pick a date

Pick a date

You can now choose which day you would like your friend to receive the app on. Scroll down to beneath the message box, and you'll see that 'Today' is selected by default.

You can opt for the app to be sent today, but it is worth noting that the process could take a couple of hours, so is not instantaneous. Alternatively, you can choose a particular date for the app to be sent, such as Christmas day or a birthday. Just tap on 'Today' to bring up the date wheel. Scroll through to find your preferred date. When you're done, tap 'Next'.

Confirm your gift

Confirm your gift

You'll now be able to select a theme for your gift. Apple has several themes available for lots of occassions.

Swipe through until you find one you like and tap 'Next'.

Check carefully to ensure that you've typed the correct email address, have chosen the right app or iBook and have picked the right date for it to arrive.

Tap 'Buy' and then 'BUY NOW' (Apple wants you to be absolutely sure about your purchase). You may now need to type in your Apple ID password to complete the purchase.

You'll be charged immediately for the purchase, even if you have scheduled it to be send at a later date.

Your recipient will receive an email from the iTunes Store on the scheduled day with your message and chosen theme, and there will be a button that says 'Redeem Now' which will begin the download process.