- Apple hosted an event on Monday where it announced a new video service, news subscription package, an exclusive games platform, and a credit card.
- It’s part of Apple’s big push to expand its services business as iPhone sales have declined.
Apple’s long-rumoured video service finally made its debut on Monday.
The company held an event at the Steve Jobs Theatre at its Apple Park campus, where it also unveiled a news subscription package, a games platform, and its own credit card.
The video service, called Apple TV Plus, will offer access to new Apple original shows when it launches this fall. Apple also created a new TV experience called Apple TV Channels, which will allow users to select premium channels like Showtime and HBO a la carte.
The announcements are part of a big effort by Apple to expand its services business amid slowing iPhone sales. The company did not debut any new hardware at this event, as it opted to instead unveil several new products quietly last week, including second-generation AirPods and new iPads.
Here’s everything Apple announced at its big March event.
Apple kicked off the event with a video from what it called “A Think Different Production.” It appeared to be a mock trailer showcasing Apple’s products throughout the years, and was filled with a lot of fun references to Apple products and its history.
Apple CEO Tim Cook then took the stage to explain what the audience was in for: “We’ve also been growing our collection of world class services, and that is what today is all about,” Cook said. “Hardware, software and services. This is something Apple does better than anyone else.”
First up: Apple News Plus, Apple’s new magazine service. It will offer access to 300 magazines, all of which will be available in a single package.
Apple News Plus will include Live Covers, which turn the cover photos into what appears to be short videos. You can browse articles within the issue by swiping, and there’s a “My Magazines” section for your favourite publications. You’ll also see suggestions for magazines you might like.
Apple News Plus also includes digital news outlets and newspapers like Vulture, TechCrunch, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
It will cost $US9.99 per month and you can share it with family members.
Next up: Apple is launching a new service called Apple Card, which will be coming to the Wallet app in the US this summer.
Apple Card is backed by Goldman Sachs and MasterCard.
Users will be able to sign up on their phones and, within minutes, be able to use their Apple Card. If users need help with their cards, they can contact Apple directly through the Messages app.
There will be an interface that shows recent transactions that leverages Apple Maps to show where the transaction occurred.
Apple Card will also have a rewards program called Daily Cash, where users will get 2% of the purchase amount when they use Apple Pay in Daily Cash.
Apple is also touting no fees – no international fees, no over limit fees, etc. They also won’t charge a penalty if you miss a payment.
Apple Card will use a secure element to protect transactions. Every purchase is authenticated with Touch ID or Face ID. And information about your transactions is processed on device, not on Apple’s servers. It’s designed with your privacy in mind, Apple’s Jennifer Bailey said on stage.
Apple is also launching a physical credit card with no card number and no security code on the card. “It’s the most beautifully designed card ever,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay.
Next up: Apple is launching Apple Arcade, a new gaming service. The service is launching in the fall with pricing and more details to come.
Apple Arcade will offer access to more than 100 new and exclusive games that Apple says you won’t find these games on any other mobile platform.
Games will work across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. You’ll be able to pick up from where you left off across devices, and games will be playable offline.
Now, on to Apple TV. Apple designed a new TV experience called Apple TV Channels, which lives inside the new Apple TV App.
Apple TV Channels will let you pay only for what you want, all in one app, that’s on-demand and ad-free. It’s available online or off. The service will include HBO, Showtime, Starz, and more.
“This is how TV should work,” Apple’s Peter Stern said.
Apple has also redesigned the Apple TV app.
The new Apple TV app starts with Watch Next, which lets you pick up from where you left off. Everything from your cable providers and services like Hulu and Prime Video are housed within the app.
There’s also a dedicated Kids section for child-friendly content.
Apple announced that the Apple TV app is coming to the Mac for the first time this fall, as well as smart TVs made by Samsung this spring, followed by Sony, LG, and Vizio. The app is coming to Roku and Amazon, too.
Apple is also launching a new service called Apple TV Plus. Apple described it as a new service dedicated to “the best stories ever told.” This service is ad-free and will be available in more than 100 countries coming this fall.
Apple invited several celebrity guests to speak at its event. First up was Steven Spielberg, who took the stage to talk more about Apple TV Plus and his new anthology series, “Amazing Stories.” “This is my first time at Apple,” he said.
Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell took the stage to talk about their project, “The Morning Show.”
Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard also showed up to talk about their show, called “See.”
Kumail Nanjiani discussed his series, “Little America,” an anthology story about immigration. It will cover the full range of human emotion, he said, and will feature immigrants from Iran, Syria, Mexico, and other countries.
Big Bird and Cody from “Sesame Street” came on stage to talk about a new show about coding.
J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles talked about their new series, “Little Voice,” that will explore the journey of a “promising, flawed” young musician in New York, inspired by the singer-songwriter’s own experience.
For Apple’s final trick, Tim Cook introduced one last guest: Oprah!
Oprah announced that she has two documentaries in the works: One exploring the impacts of sexual harassment in the workplace called “Toxic Flavour.”; Another, still unnamed, will focus on mental health and how the trauma of loss is devastating lives around the globe.
And that’s a wrap!
Take a deeper dive into Apple’s announcements below:
And don’t miss:
- Apple News won’t let advertisers track users or monitor what they read
- Apple’s new Apple Card credit card doesn’t have any hidden fees or late-payment charges
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