Gift cards are fine if you want to surprise someone with an impersonal gift. A gift that says, ‘happy holidays but I really didn’t want to go to any trouble thinking of a gift for you.’

A smartphone app called Gifster for iPhones and Android devices could be the answer for your family or friends who want to give and receive gifts they actually want.

Gifster allows users to create their own wishlist of things they’d like to receive. Think of it like a wedding or baby gift registry. Each person uses the app to add their clothing sizes, interests, hobbies, and items to their wishlist.

Others in the group can see everyone’s list with links to the items on Amazon, other retailers, or the product’s website. Since everyone using the app can see everyone else’s wishlist, they can also see who plans to get the item which cuts down on the risk of someone receiving duplicate gifts.

Each item on the wish list will show “reserved” for gifts someone else plans to give, or “available” for items not yet claimed. Users can also suggest items for others. It is private. No one can see what other people are giving them.

You can also run a Secret Santa party in the app. And there are categories for a birthday, baby, and wedding gift registries as well. If you don’t want to download another app, you can access your registry online in a web browser. It is a free app.

One way Gifster makes money is by getting referral revenue from retailers, and there are a few Google ads on the screen. So you’ll likely see ads for items related to what you’re shopping for pop up on your screen. You’ll find it in both app stores and it’s also available in Amazon’s app store. www.gifster.com