Apple has announced the end of its iTunes Allowances service, and has recommended Family Sharing and Gift Cards as an aleternative way for iOS users to send and recieve Apple-related gifts. iTunes Allowances allowed parents to give children monthly credit to spend on the App Store and iTunes purchases. For example, a parent could assign a $10 per month allowance to their child's iTunes account. The recipient could then use the assigned credit until it ran out and wait for it to refresh the following month.
Starting today iOS users will no longer be able to set up new iTunes Allowances, and all existing allowances will end on May 25. Any unused credit will remain in a recipient’s account until it's spent.
Apple did not announce why it is closing the service. iTunes Allowances wasn't a well known feature. It was just one of the many services buried in the iTunes app that Apple rarely mentioned. The iTunes Allowances support note announcing the closure suggests users utilize the Family Sharing feature to share App Store and iTunes purchases. Users can also still purchase physical Gift Cards or send credit using iTunes Gifts.
Family Sharing was introduced in iOS 8 for a way for families to share apps and games purchased from the App Store. The feature allows one credit card holder to add up to six people to one shared account. The main account holder can then pay for and control all purchases made from iTunes, iBooks, and App Store. Family Sharing also allows the head account to set up restrictions on future purchases.