Apple held its annual spring event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California, on Monday. The event focused on new or updated services rather than hardware.
Here's what Apple announced:
— The company's Apple News+ service will include reporting from more than 300 magazine and newspaper publications. The subscription bundle will cost $9.99 per month.
— Apple Pay will be launching for transit payments first on the West Coast, and then expanding across major cities in the US, such as Portland, Chicago, and New York City.
— Apple has partnered with Goldman Sachs to launch a credit card called Apple Card. It will have a reward points feature called Daily Cash and it will work worldwide via MasterCard's payment network.
— Apple is adding a new gaming tab to the App Store called Apple Arcade. It will launch over 100 games this fall in over 150 countries. The company partnered with a slew of popular game developers to make content for the service, and the games will work online and offline across devices.
— The Apple TV app is getting a makeover. It will combine cable and streaming subscriptions into one portal that will be accessible on all Apple devices, as well as Smart TVs, Roku, and Amazon's Fire TV.
— The new Apple TV app will include original programming via a service called Apple TV+ whose content is being developed by an array of big Hollywood names, including Oprah, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, and JJ Abrams. The price has yet to be announced.
Oprah's Book Club is coming to Apple
Oprah took the stage to announce that she has signed a content deal with Apple. She has two documentaries: one called Toxic Labor about abuse in the workplace, and a second unnamed multipart series focusing on mental health. Harpo Films will own any content produced through the deal.
Oprah will also launch a book club through the Apple Store, which will include livestreams of book club–related content across Apple devices.
Tim Cook announced Apple TV+, the company's highly anticipated original programming service.
Apple is leaning heavily on well-known names, like actors Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Octavia Spencer, to lure audiences. Directors Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, Sofia Coppola, Ron Howard, M. Night Shyamalan, and Damien Chazelle also made appearances in a trailer introducing the new service.
Spielberg, Aniston, and Witherspoon, as well as Jason Momoa and Kumail Nanjiani, appeared onstage at the event. Some of the programming includes a Spielberg-directed reboot of Amazing Stories; The Morning Show, which is an “insider’s view in the people who help wake up America every day,” starring Steve Carell, Aniston, and Witherspoon; See, a postapocalyptic series about the remaining human race, all of whom are blind, starring Momoa; Little America, an anthology series about immigrants coming to the US; and a coding-oriented preschool show produced by Sesame Workshop.
Apple TV+ is coming this fall to over 100 countries, through the new Apple TV app and smart TVs. The price for the service has not yet been announced.
Read more here.
There's a new Apple TV app that brings all of your streaming subscriptions into one app.
Apple redesigned its TV app, which now combines your cable subscriptions (through providers like DirectTV or Spectrum) and streaming services (like Hulu or Amazon Prime) in one place. AppleTV Channels is a new subscription service, that allows you to sign up and pay for the channels you want (like HBO or CBS), and watch the content ad-free.
The app also allows viewers to download shows for offline viewing. Family Sharing also works with Apple TV Channels.
It’s available this May and, for the first time, launching for the Mac. The Apple TV app also will be available on Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio smart TVs, as well as Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV.
Apple also announced Apple Arcade, a brand-new subscription service for games available on iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV
Apple Arcade will work with developers to create an integrated gaming service. Developers working on Apple Arcade include Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy franchise, Rebekah Saltsman, and Charles Cecil. The service includes over 100 games and will be accessible via new tab inside the App Store.
The games will work across all Apple devices including Apple TV. Every game is also playable offline. There will be no in-games ads or purchasable additional features.
In yet another nod to privacy, Apple Arcade will not track player behavior and, similar to Apple News+, also include family sharing.
Apple Arcade launches this fall in over 150 countries around the world. No word yet on how much it will cost.
Two big updates were announced for Apple Pay
First, Apple Pay will be launching for transit first on the West Coast and then expanding to Portland, Chicago, and New York City later this year.
Second, Apple Pay will be changing the way it supports credit cards work as well, with a new service called Apple Card.
It will work worldwide and will track what you spend and when payments are due. It will have text support via iMessage. It will use machine learning and Apple Maps to describe where and when transactions happened.
It will also have weekly and monthly spending summaries. There will also be a reward points feature called Daily Cash. Users will received 2% on purchases and 3% on purchases from Apple and you can accrue an unlimited amount of Daily Cash.
There will be no fees of any kind on Apple Card and no penalty interest rates. The issuing bank for Apple Card is Goldman Sachs and will use MasterCard’s payment network. Apple Card’s payment system will be protected by one-time dynamic number codes and face or touch ID. Apple won’t be able to track any sort of spending data from Apple Card and won’t be storing any of the information on their servers. Goldman Sachs also will not sell any sort of marketing data.
Apple's News+ subscription service costs $9.99 per month
Today, Apple unveiled its news subscription service, Apple News+, which includes offerings from Time, Vogue, the New Yorker, and National Geographic, during an event held at the company’s Cupertino, California, headquarters.
Today, Apple unveiled its news subscription service, Apple News+, which includes magazine offerings from Time, Vogue, The New Yorker, and National Geographic, as well as digital subscriptions to the Skimm, the Cut, TechCrunch, and Vulture. Newspaper subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times are also included.
“I love being at the newsstand. ... We want them all, but we might be only able to get one or two,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. Apple News+ is designed to bring over 300 magazines under one subscription. Travel, lifestyle, news, and sports are some of the categories offered.
The subscription will cost $9.99 per month and includes unlimited access to all of the service’s publishers — but only through apps on the company’s products: iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices.
It's available today with the latest version of iOS.
Read more about News+ here.