Apple has been all over the news recently. The company has been busy with back-to-back events to unveil several new product lines. Apple last month released its all-new iPad Air and iPad Mini, an upgrade to its existing lineup of iMacs, and the second-generation AirPods. After all these products were announced, the company still had one more treat for the masses: The “It’s Showtime!” event. What was this about? At “It’s Showtime,” Apple made some interesting announcements and used the platform to launch some of its much-awaited and long-planned services. This was a first service-centered event held by Apple.
Here is everything you need to know about this event.
Apple TV Plus
Apple has finally stepped into the online content and media streaming services landscape with its all-new Apple TV Plus, an original content subscription service that is exclusive to the company’s Apple TV app.
Apple has teamed with a bunch of Hollywood celebrities and luminaries to create their very own media content including TV shows and movies in all the genres. Apple says Apple TV Plus will feature the “highest-quality storytelling” and will be available in over 100 countries starting this fall.
Apple TV Plus will be ad-free and will provide users with on-demand services. The content can be viewed both online and offline through its download option. Apple was planning to launch its very own online content service for quite some time now and has reportedly invested more than $1 billion in the service.
Users will need Apple TV to stream the latest Apple TV Plus content. Apple TV, which had been confined to iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs will be available for all smart TVs and Macs later this year.
While the services are set to go live starting this fall, the pricing is yet to be disclosed.
Apple has also made a move to separate all its paid and premium games from the App Store into an all-new service called Apple Arcade. Apple Arcade will be a subscription-based service that will allow users to enjoy over 100 games right after the launch with more games in the pipeline.
Apple Arcade will give its subscribers access a selection of new and exclusive games across multiple platforms. It offers support across mobile, desktop, and Apple TV platforms. Moreover, all these games offered by Apple Arcade can also be played offline, which seems to be an interesting feature compared to the recently launched Google Stadia.
Apple also confirmed that this service will be available in over 150 countries and some of the publishing partners are Sega, Konami, Disney, Lego, Cartoon Network, and Platinum Games. While the service is expected to be launched this fall, pricing and other subscription details are yet to be announced.
Apple also announced an all-new proprietary credit card called Apple Card. Apple Card is a virtual credit card that resides on your iPhones but it also comes with a traditional physical card backup for places where you cannot use Apple Pay. Users can use this card like a normal credit card to order stuff online and offline. The card is powered by MasterCard and Goldman Sachs and can be used anywhere across the globe where MasterCard is accepted.
Users can easily sign up to get their very own Apple Card. Although the option to sign up is not available at this moment, it will soon be available starting this summer. Apple confirmed that it will start rolling out Apple Card in the U.S. first. But not everyone might be able to get their own Apple Card. The company during the event mentioned “well-qualified” customers will be able to sign up for the card and start using it right away.
Apple also announced reward points and cash-backs on using the Apple Card. The company is set to provide cash-back in the form of “Daily Cash” for every dollar spent using the card. Here is the information on the cash-backs.
- 1 percent of the transaction when using a physical Apple card.
- 2 percent of the transaction when you use the digital Apple card for any purchase.
- 3 percent of the transactions made at Apple using the digital card.
There are several aspects the company is yet to announce such as information on hidden fees (if any), transactional charges (if any), availability outside the U.S., exact launch details, and eligibility. However, we can expect to hear more about it in the near future.
Apple News Plus
As with Apple TV Plus, Apple also launched its latest news and magazine subscription services in the form of Apple News Plus. It is a new subscription service for the existing Apple News and will let the users access magazines, reading material, and other pay-walled content from most leading news sites.
Apple News Plus is currently available in the U.S. and Canada and can be accessed and used through the new Apple News Plus tab on Apple devices running on iOS 12.2 or macOS Mojave 10.14.4. Apple has said that it has plans to extend the services to other countries in the world.
As far as the pricing, the service costs $9.99 per month in the U.S. and $12.99 per month in Canada. There are no yearly subscription plans available right now, and users will have to renew the subscription on a monthly basis. The company is also offering a 30-day free trial for all the users.
After a set of products being launched earlier, Apple has come up with a unique event and as the name suggests, it really was a “showtime” for its fans. As of now, only Apple News Plus services are available. For other services mentioned above, crucial information such as availability and pricing-related information has yet to be announced.
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