Yesterday, Apple announced a cavalcade of subscription services for their platforms as well as a brand-new payment option created by them with the help of Goldman Sachs and Mastercard. Taken place at their Steve Jobs theater Tim Cook and a slew of various Apple heads announced expansions of previous services as well as new ones. Major highlights include Apple News+, a new Apple TV App with Apple TV Channels and Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple Card.
First on the docket was Apple News+. This expansion to the current Apple News platform allows users to enjoy over 300 magazines like ESPN, National Geographic, and Vogue as well as periodicals like The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times. Costing only $10 a month, with the first month being free of charge, this service looks to bring the wonder & thought-provoking nature of print magazines for a digital age. Especially since certain publishers, like National Geographic and Essence, have special moving covers that are only available on the Apple News+ platform. The service launched yesterday with the update of iOS version 12.2 and Mac OS 10.14.4 so users who wish to try the new service should update their devices now.
Next highlight was the announcement of the Apple Arcade. They boasted that this was the first and only game streaming service available on a mobile device. The service allows users to download and play, both online and offline, various mobile games that are on the service. The genres range from major story telling RPG’s to indie top down action games. Even Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of legendary JRPG franchise Final Fantasy, gave the service his endorsement while talking about his game Fantasian. The service is expected to launch in the fall in over 150 countries. Pricing and exact date of release are not yet known.
Another highlight was the reinvention of the Apple TV App for Apple TV, iOS, and Mac OS. Essentially the user can select a wide variety of TV shows from various streaming services that the user signs up to and can watch those shows direct from the redesigned Apple TV App. They also announced a new service called Apple TV Channels where the user can pay for various channels a la carte and watch them directly from the Apple TV App. Channels included ShowTime, HBO, CollegeHumor’s Dropout, Cinemax, and more. Plus, they’re expecting to launch versions of the Apple TV App to Smart TV’s from manufacturers like Sony and Vizio, and eventually hit the Amazon Fire TV App Store and Roku Channel Store. The update to the Apple TV App and Apple TV Channels is launching in May.
That’s not all Apple announced television-wise. They also announced Apple TV+, a new streaming service with original content created by some big names like Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, and even Oprah! The content on offer is expected to be thought-provoking, inspiring, and making a difference. Apple TV+ is expected to launch in the fall.
Finally, there’s Apple Card. Apple Card has been rumored for months that it would be a new credit card that’s issued by Apple, but with the backing of Goldman Sachs and MasterCard. They showed off the ability to sign up in app, how you can see how much you spend and where you spent it, as well as how you can pay off your credit card bill and avoid high interest rates. They also showed off a feature called Daily Cash, where whenever you use your card you get cash back on the purchase: 3% if the purchase is made at the Apple Store, 2% if the purchase is made with Apple Pay, and 1% if it’s made with the titanium physical card, which can be used at places that don’t accept Apple Pay. Apple Card is expected to launch in the summer.
This event was an announcement that Apple isn’t just a company that makes iDevices anymore, but a company that offers content & services for everyone. It’s unsure how these services will fare against the already established services that Apple is wanting to face, but it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.