• Apple Embraces Services

    Apple's Spring 2019 Event went down yesterday at the Steve Jobs Theater in California, promoted everywhere with the tag line: "it's show time". Indeed, as the many embedded YouTube videos in this post would suggest, Cupertino is leaning hard into traditional media. And also credit cards...?

    I'm already getting ahead of myself here; let's break it down:

    Apple Arcade

    This one is the lightest on details, a subscription service for games promised sometime this year. It seems to me that its announcement was primarily an attempt to steal some thunder from Google Stadia, with the main differentiator being that Apple Arcade titles can be played offline.

    Apple did say that it will launch, in both Canada and the United States, with more than 100 new and exclusive titles.

    Apple Card

    ... Or, more accurately, an Apple-branded virtual MasterCard from Goldman Sachs. Available this summer (USA-only), it will offer deep integration with Apple Pay, no extra fees and daily cashback rewards of up to 3% on purchases.

    One caveat that I spotted right away was that the cashback goes on a separate digital card within Apple Pay, and cannot be used to pay down your balance. On the plus side, you also get a nifty physical card made of titanium for anywhere Apple Pay isn't accepted.

    Apple News+

    Here's Apple's revamped subscription-based service for magazines and newspapers. It's available right now in the U.S. (for $9.99/month) and Canada ($12.99/month) via iOS 12.2 and the existing news app. You can also try before you subscribe with the first 30 days free.

    About 300 titles are currently available, some featuring animated "live covers".

    Apple TV+

    In addition to new premium TV channels that users can subscribe to la carte, Apple is also launching a separate Plus package with original programming. Content partners who have already signed on include J.J. Abrams, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Steven Spielberg.

    The service is set for a wide launch this fall in 100 markets, including Canada. Pricing is TBA.

    Additional Sources: MacRumors (1) (2) (3), The Verge (1) (2)

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Embraces Services started by acurrie View original post
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