Earlier this week, Apple has unveiled subscription services that cut across news, television and video games. The announcement comes on the heels of Stadia’s launch by Google.
The event also revealed Apple’s new credit card service. All of the services on focus on consumer privacy. This means none of them will feature no ads and share your consumption habits with marketing firms. Surprisingly, Apple did not organize a live onstage demo of the new products which will be available later this year.
Here is a summary of the most significant announcements made during Apple’s “Special Event.”
APPLE NEWS PLUS
Apple News will feature magazines via Apple News Plus. This service costs $9.99 monthly subscription and to consumers in the US and Canada with the fee covering family sharing. However, the first month is free of charge.
Magazines displayed on this service have “Live Cover” presentations. This feature animates the covers while giving them an interactive look and feel. Under the cover, underlined stories are listed with blurbs, and the product recommends articles that might catch your interest, even from magazines you do not regularly read. On the service, you can also browse through publications with which you have a subscription and new editions are automatically available for offline reading when they are released.
At launch, the platform offers up to 300 magazines. It also features digital and conventional news partners such as the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. Apple leverages privacy on its app, pointing out that marketers can’t monitor articles you read; thus, you will not receive targeted ads based on the content you click on.
Like Amazon, Apple has also revealed a new credit card, Apple Card. Unlike most apps today, you can use your iPhone to apply for this service. Immediately your application is approved, the card is stored in a Wallet app where you can perform various financial transactions. The app even helps you remember locations and retailers where you made purchases.
Furthermore, each time you make a purchase, the card generates new security codes. Interestingly, the Apple Card does not have a credit card number, CVV, signature or expiration date. But you can create these details on online stores that work with 16-digit credit card information instead of Apple Card. Information about your purchase is stored on your device to prevent targeted ads from marketers.
The new card has support from Goldman Sachs and Mastercard. It also gives users a 2 percent cash back reward (3 percent for Apple purchases) paid daily into their Apple Pay accounts. With these funds, they can pay credit balances and make in-app purchases. They can even transfer the money to their loved ones. You can use the Apple Cards at retailers that accept Mastercard. For offline use, Apple will provide a titanium card; however, its users will receive 1 percent cash back.
Apple claims its credit card service does not give penalties for late payments. According to the Verge, there are no details about the limits of this service. The app features a wheel that tells you how much interest you will pay based on the minimum payments you make to support you in making choices. As from this summer, the Apple Card will be available for consumers.
This product serves as Apple’s gaming subscription service. Unlike Google’s Stadia, Apple Arcade is a subscription device especially to titles on the App. This means you cannot play games featured on platforms such as PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo Switch unless the title is featured on IOS devices.
We do not know how much the subscription fees will cost; however, reports from the Verge indicate that the service has over 100 games specifically for iOS. You can seamlessly play games across Apple products. All games can be played offline.
APPLE TV CHANNELS
The latest Apple TV upgrade will target channels such as HBO, PBS, CBS, Acorn TV, and Tastemade without using a third-party app. Known as Apple TV Channels, consumers can select TV stations they want to subscribe to. They can also pay for single channels rather than a conventional bouquet from cable companies. But the cost of this new service was not shared during the event.
This May, the Apple TV app will get an update with Channels while Mac will get its TV app in the fall. The service will be available through Roku and Amazon Fire starting from the spring. One hundred countries will have access to the service, but Apple does not offer a date for a regional launch.
APPLE TV PLUS
Apart from Apple TV, the company also offers a new package for original content. But there are no details concerning this service except its offline features and availability in the fall. According to reports the rest of the event included an introduction of Apple TV Plus by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Jason Momoa, Steve Carell, Alfre Woodard, Sesame Street’s Big Bird, and Kumail Nanjiani.
Finally, the blog says there were no trailers for the TV shows which all the personalities came to applaud. The new platform will feature shows about immigration, science fiction amongst other issues. There’s even a children’s TV show which will feature Sesame Street characters.