Apple and developers face trouble with 12 Days of Gifts on iOS

Spreading a little bit of holiday cheer is apparently a lot harder than it looks, especially when trying to spread it to millions of people all at once. That's probably the attitude both Apple and developers have adopted since the 12 Days of Gifts app began offering goodies to iOS device owners on Dec. 26.

First in some crosshairs is Apple. If you were awake at midnight when Day 2's gift was released, you would have found a TV show being given away. However, tapping View Gift brought you to a TV show page with the first button listing a large price to buy the whole series. Scrolling down a bit further revealed the free individual episode up for grabs. Apple quickly realized this was confusing people, so the show was replaced with a free game by the morning.

Developers are under some fire too, unfairly I might add. Today's giveaway, for instance, is kids' game Toca House. Well some who are unhappy with the demographic of this gift are leaving bad reviews of the game in the App Store.

"Apple is ruining my Christmas," wrote one reviewer. "Deleted this app. iTunes 12 Days gift gets cheesier by the day!" said another.

If you're using the 12 Days of Gifts app, try to have the expectation that not every gift being given away is going to suit your taste. Plus, you wouldn't normally be mad at a developer for creating an app you had no interest in downloading in the first place, right? 'Tis the season for spreading the love, folks!

Source: iMore | Image via Apple

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Most major online retailers see replenished Xbox One stock following holidays

Next Story

2013: The year in memorable tech industry quotes

26 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It's unbelievable how ungrateful people can be. Everyone who complaints about free content should remember Apple doesn't have to develop an app like this and give away stuff.

.Neo said,
It's unbelievable how ungrateful people can be. Everyone who complaints about free content should remember Apple doesn't have to develop an app like this and give away stuff.

Except when Apple arrogantly and deliberately brush off thousands of their customers who are stuck on iOS 6. Why require just iOS 7? Just cause its their latest? It's a good job my missus gave me her old 4S just recently, otherwise my 3GS wouldn't have been able to use the app as it cannot have iOS 7. Not everyone wants to be an Apple zombie, upgrading as soon as Apple the Nemesis (Resident Evil reference) snaps their fingers, just to make the shareholders happy in their little walled in economy.

When I can afford a new phone, it WON'T be Apple. Most of the stuff is crap anyway! Justin friggin' childish-baby Bieber? Home Alone? I've seen that a million times since I was 9, and I'm now 29!

Edited by Tidosho, Dec 31 2013, 8:39pm :

Well considering the percentage of users that are using iOS7, might just be incentivising the upgrade..

And hey no bashing Home Alone!

I wish Apple would restore the "similar" feature in the App store from iOS 6, where the app would recommend apps similar to what you had downloaded in the past. In iOS 7, they replaced it with the largely useless "Near Me" feature.

Anyway, since Apple knows what you had downloaded in the past, this "12 Days of Christmas" app should have looked at apps I had downloaded (and used regularly, not deleted quickly) and used that data to offer me better "gifts".

I am guessing this new "12 Days of Christmas" was their way of getting people to upgrade to iOS 7, talking to a lot of people, they upgraded because of it.

Brian Miller said,
I am guessing this new "12 Days of Christmas" was their way of getting people to upgrade to iOS 7, talking to a lot of people, they upgraded because of it.

The app was available last year for iOS 6 as well and iOS 5 before it. Granted the new app is iOS 7-only but same can be said of many recent app updates. Considering 12 Days isn't a new concept I don't see how it's specially developed to lure people into upgrading. It's a nice bonus though.

.Neo said,

The app was available last year for iOS 6 as well and iOS 5 before it. Granted the new app is iOS 7-only but same can be said of many recent app updates. Considering 12 Days isn't a new concept I don't see how it's specially developed to lure people into upgrading. It's a nice bonus though.

Cos this *version* requires iOS7

People were complaining about gifts available only on iOS, and only on iOS 7.

...some people. If they want year round freebies they can try those free app a day apps.

I forget which day it was, but they were giving away a Travel book and people were complaining that as if it was a crappy book as if it was only a few pages.. Bad reviews left and right aimed directly at Apple not specifically the authors or publisher.

Its actually the only one of the gifts so far that I have gotten. Its over 300 pages and well worth the effort of getting simply because its not just a cheap afterthought.

Like others I don't understand the hate over something free either. Giving one start because Apple is cheap? How is that fair to the author? Messing up their ratings like that. Quite annoying really.

I actually really wanted that Lonely Planet book but it wasn't available here in the UK - There was also something else I wanted a couple of days back that was also not available in the UK.
Free things are always good but I've since given up with the app and deleted it as the UK seems to be missing out on the good stuff!

Google Plays's 10 billion downloads worked quite well IMO, it gave users a choice of what they wanted. 10 apps, 10c each. Wasn't limited to any single application.

Apple should have done the same, perhaps giving 10 choices but you'd only be able to get one out of the 10.

I'm not getting the hate. It's never been particularly great. Try checking out the gifts from previous years.

Unless this has to do with it being available in the US again for the first time in a couple of years and they're not used to how underwhelming this usually is?

It does seem a bit lacking in substance. Seems more of an after thought idea to not look cheap, but in the end it did just that..
If you're going to do a giveaway it's usually a good idea to give away things people want, not the stuff that you couldn't sell in the first place. Promo shows and kiddy games just don't quite cut it for a Christmas giveaway...

JoseyWales said,
It does seem a bit lacking in substance. Seems more of an after thought idea to not look cheap, but in the end it did just that..
If you're going to do a giveaway it's usually a good idea to give away things people want, not the stuff that you couldn't sell in the first place. Promo shows and kiddy games just don't quite cut it for a Christmas giveaway...

Because parents and children don't have iPads today...

Enron said,
I guess if the stuff is free, nobody should really be complaining. Something is better than nothing.

I completely agree in general, but that whole single pilot episode of ONCE was a re-gifting (its free on Hulu for example), and at worse a bait-and-switch plug to sell product. I'm glad the pulled back and gave away something.

Enron said,
I guess if the stuff is free, nobody should really be complaining. Something is better than nothing.

and then I go to articles about Microsoft free giveaways, such as when they giveaway SkyDrive storage for free, and all I see is complaints.