A special Apple event was held yesterday and it was unlike what we have experienced before. First, Apple decided to refresh its hardware (iPad, iMacs, AirPods) days before the event, signalling the fact that they wanted us to concentrate on what they were going to show.
Well, the entire event was about Apple Services and it was a lot. Let us see what Apple was announcing to the world.
Apple News Plus
Apple revamped Apple News to introduce Apple News Plus. Apple News Plus is a new subscription service where you can enjoy content from over 300+ popular magazines.
It looks pretty awesome where you get to enjoy reading articles from your favourite magazines in a one convenient location. It also includes animated covers, vivid photography and bold typography which works well on iPhone, iPad or Mac. I like the animated covers since it reminds me of Harry Potter movies.
The most surprising thing was the fee that they are charging. Apple will charge $9.99 per month to gain access to this and it is available to US and Canada first.
Apple Card is Apple’s new kind of credit card that Apple created that has a bunch of interesting features.
There is the Apple Card app in the Apple Wallet app on iPhone which will allow you to manage the card from the iPhone.
According to Apple, it uses machine learning and Apple maps to label transactions with merchant names and locations. Purchases are color coded and it will give weekly and monthly spending summaries.
There is also the Daily Cash feature where you get a percentage of every Apple Card purchase as daily cash. Everytime you use Apple Card with Apple Pay, you will receive 2% Daily Cash and 3% if you make purchases directly with Apple.
The crazy thing is that there are no annual fees, late fees, international fees or over the limit fees.
The Apple Card doesn’t work like normal credit cards. A unique card number is created on the iPhone for the Apple card and stored safely on the device’s secure element. Every purchase is authorized with Face ID or Touch ID using a one time dynamic security code.
They have partnered with MasterCard and Goldman Sachs to provide support of an issuing bank and the global payments network.
The other interesting bit is that Apple also designed an insanely minimalist titanium Apple Card for shopping at locations where Apple Pay is not accepted yet. This card has no card number, no CVV, security code, expiration date or signature at the card, which is something we don’t see with normal cards.
Apple Arcade is the other Services product Apple announced today and it is centered around gaming.
According to Apple, it is the ‘world’s first game subscription service for mobile desktop and the living room’.
Apple says that they will feature over 100 brand new and exclusive games. The company also says that they are contributing to the development costs and working closely with creators to bring these games ‘to life’.
Currently on the App Store, there are over 300,000 free and paid games and Apple is targeting the over 1 billion gaming customers on their ecosystem..
It is a subscription service so Apple will allow people to try any game in the service. You’ll get access to the full experience (all game features, content and updates) with no additional purchases. You’ll be able to play the games offline. There is also continuity where you can pick up where they left off in a game across their ecosystem rack.
Apple will launch Apple Arcade in the fall to more than 150 countries worldwide.
Apple TV Channels
This is a subscription service where Apple gives you the ability to choose your favourite networks and pay to watch them. It is a revamped version of the TV app and it is quite something.
There are a number of media stations to choose from, from HBO to CBS All Access to Starz to Showtime and more.
Instead of bouncing between apps from different media stations, this wants to be the place where you watch everything from.
Apple TV Channels app will come as a software update to the Apple TV on May. They will also bring this experience to the Mac, popular smart TVs (Sony, LG, Samsung, Vizio), streaming boxes and streaming sticks.
Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus is the new subscription service from Apple for is Original video content and it was the one that we were waiting to hear.
It will be a whole new Apple Tv app which will give users access to these original shows, movies and documentaries.
To kick this new subscription service off, Apple invited top Hollywood talent from the likes of the famous director Steven Spielberg to actresses Reese Witherspoon & Jennifer Aniston to TV personalities and media moguls like Oprah Winfrey herself.
Apple didn’t reveal the pricing of the new service or trailers of the TV shows but they said that it will launch this coming fall.