Today, Apple announced new and updated services for their customers. If you’re an iPhone/Mac user like I am, then you definitely always look forward to finding out what Apple has planned for the future. Here is a look at what they shared with the world:
With the goal of creating the best magazine reading experience on mobile platforms, Apple has partnered with 300 diverse publishers to bring you Apple News+. It’s a single package service that will allow you to read articles or full issues from your favorite titles. The service also includes the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, and premium digital subscriptions to The Skimm, Vox, and TechCrunch.
The service is available now after you have updated your phone and will cost $9.99 per month.
Apple Pay and Apple Card
In Apple’s continuing effort to replace the wallet, the company is on target to surpass 10 billion transactions in 2019. By the end of the year, Apple Pay will be available in over 40 countries. Cities such as Portland, Chicago, and New York plan to integrate the service into their public transportation systems.
The tech giant is also launching a credit card with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard. The card will be available in both digital and physical form and can be used wherever Apple Pay is accepted. Among its features will be a rewards program (Daily Cash) that offers cash back after every purchase, with the funds adding up each day and available for use just like normal cash. There will be no annual, late, international, or over the limit fees. Since all of the information will be stored on your device and not their servers, Apple will not know where, why, or in what amount you are spending your money. They also promised that Goldman Sachs will never sell your data to a third party.
Apple Arcade will be the first mobile game subscription service available to consumers. Apple’s mission is to bring console-quality gaming to its customers, and they have been working with top developers to create artistic, story-driven games that wouldn’t be available in the normal market. You’ll be able to download the games straight to your device and play them on all of your Apple devices. There will be no ads or microtransactions. Again, Apple is promising not to collect or track any of your data without your consent.
The service is expected to be available this fall. No price point was announced or referenced during the event.
Apple TV and Apple TV+
First, Apple showed off their updates to their Apple TV software. The newest version will allow you to combine all of your services under one app, including streaming plans like Netflix and Hulu and premium subscriptions like HBO and Showtime. (If you’re an Amazon Prime member, this is old news.) The TV app will finally be available on Mac this fall, with all of their other updates being released in May.
And now, the announcement everyone was waiting for.
Apple TV+ is the official title of Apple’s new original streaming service. With only the names of who Apple has hired to create programming being available to the public, this was the first time that I was aware of any details regarding planned content. Steven Spielberg will be adapting and reviving an old sci-fi anthology series called “Amazing Stories.” Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell will star in “The Morning Show,” a series that will attempt to pull back the curtain on early-hours TV and focus on the relationships of the people who wake us up every day. Oprah Winfrey has multiple documentaries that she’s currently working on with Apple, too.
The global service will be available this fall, but again, no price point was ever mentioned.
As iPhone sales continue to decrease, Apple looks to be betting on services, instead of hardware, as their primary source of income. And while Apple News+ and the introduction of the Apple Card seem like interesting and profitable platforms, it’s Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ that have the most challenging roads ahead of them. Video game development is extremely expensive, and by entering the streaming service field at this point, they are a little late to the party. It will be quite an uphill battle against established players like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, and let’s not forget that Disney will be launching their own streaming service later this year as well. It’s definitely going to be fascinating to see how Apple does among all this competition.