Today was “Show Time” at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, and the company proudly announced four new innovations they’re bringing to the public – some won’t be here until Fall 2019, others you can get right now. Take a look:
— iDrop News (@iDropNews) March 25, 2019
Tim Cook announced at today’s keynote that Apple News has become the leading news app on mobile devices, with over 5 billion articles read per month. Now the company is aiming to widen the news net by adding a subscription service that also includes popular magazines and digital media. Cook praised “the power of journalism and the impact it can have on our lives,” and the new Apple News+ service adds big names like Time, Vogue, People, National Geographic, Popular Science, Billboard, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune.
The service covers “over 300 magazines across all sorts of topics,” said Apple’s Vice President of Applications, Roger Rosner, “all in a single package. Once you’re in the tab, all you have to is tap on a cover and you’ll be brought to the table of contents. Some articles may even have moving images like in Harry Potter, or animated headers or cross-outs, and there will also be a section specifically tailored to your preferences and previous viewings.
Subscribing to this many magazines would take over $8,000 a year, but through Apple, it’s all available to you for a monthly fee of $9.99. The first month of the service is free, and it’s available in the U.S. and Canada right now. Apple News+ will reach Australia and the UK later on this year.
Cook said Apple Pay is the “simplest, most secure, and private way to pay.” The service has seen a great response since its launch. According to Cook, it will soon pass 10 billion transactions in over 40 countries. To take its success to the next level, Jennifer Bailey, the VP of Apple Pay, announced that Apple has “completely rethought the credit card [to encourage] a healthier financial life.”
This innovation comes in the form of the Apple Card, a new credit card that’s the result of Apple’s new partnership with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard. The new card comes with a unique number stored in a security chip, and can only be verified through touch or face ID any time you use it to make a purchase. The card also focuses on user privacy, and Apple guarantees they have no way to track what you bought with the card, how much you paid, or when the transaction was done. The Apple Card doesn’t even have any numbers or cvc; all that information is in the wallet app.
The Apple Card was made to help users avoid high interest rates and to help keep better tabs on payments. The new Daily Cash feature also allows users to receive 2% daily cash any time you use Apple Pay, 1% any time you use the Apple Card, and 3% any time you purchase directly from Apple.
The amount of Daily Cash you can receive is unlimited, and the Apple Card will be located in the wallet app starting this summer.
Apple Card: Designed for iPhone. Sign up on iPhone, begin using it immediately anywhere Apple Pay is accepted. Uses machine learning to provide easily recognizable transactions. Shows spending trending. Daily Cash gives you cash back, every day you spend. Added to Apple Cash.
— MacTrast (@MacTrast) March 25, 2019
Apple’s App Store is now visited by half a billion people each week, and the most popular category is games. According to Tim Cook, iOS is now the largest gaming platform in the world, and over a billion people have downloaded games from the app store: a collection of over 300,000 games, both free and paid.
Apple Arcade aims to shine the spotlight on the paid games, which are often overlooked and overshadowed by the more enticingly-priced free games. These are “games that redefine games, both curated and backed by Apple” says the company, and Apple Arcade will offer over 100 games when you subscribe – games that are not available anywhere else, and new titles will be added frequently. Even better news is that all the games can be played on or offline, and will never have ads, additional purchases, or track or mine any of your user data.
Apple Arcade will be available in over 150 countries around the world this Fall, though Apple did not yet specify pricing.
Lastly, Tim Cook introduced a new paid subscription service to Apple TV: Apple TV+. Like Netflix, this lets users “pay for only the channels they want – all in one app with the password you already have.” It enables you to “watch everything on-demand and add-free, online or offline” with a subscription that also allows for family sharing.
Apple TV+ has redesigned the app so that it’s both easier to use, and also offers exclusive content that’s both recommended to you and that’s completely fresh and new. It’s got movies, sports, news, network tv, HBO, Showtime, and even a kids mode that makes Apple TV+ “a safe place to explore together.”
— iDrop News (@iDropNews) March 25, 2019
A number of guest celebrities greeted the audience at today’s event, including Oprah Winfrey, who’s bringing a new book club to Apple. And Steven Spielberg is partnering with Apple to revive the “Amazing Stories” series he produced in the mid-80s.
The ad-free subscription service will be available across 100 countries starting this fall, with “commitment to quality story-telling” that can be watched on all devices both on and offline. This also includes series such as “Little Voice,” “The Morning Show,” “Sea,” “Little America,” and the Sesame Street spinoff “Helpsters” for kids.
We’ll also get the general software update that will bring Apple TV to all devices this May. For the first time, this software will also be usable on Mac (but that will be later this year). Apple has also partnered with leading Smart TV partners in hopes of integrating Apple TV and Apple TV+ with this growing market as well. Again, no prices were given yet, though a family plan was mentioned.
This announcement marks an exciting new series of innovations from Apple, with the general theme of a safer, more private experience between the company and user, while simultaneously attempting to bolster the community’s internal networking and the sharing of culture to a medium that’s (as Winfrey put it) “in a billion pockets.”
Will you be subscribing to any of these new products? Let us know in the comments below which you’ve got your eye on, and stay tuned for more news as it’s made available.