Weeks after rumors, Apple finally unveiled quite a number of new stuff at its just-wrapped "show time" event. Most of them are subscriptions — to news, to App Store games, and most notably, to cable channels and original content.
But the keynote also showed off something unprecedented: Apple's own credit card, aptly named "Apple Card."
All the above-mentioned services aren't new in this industry, but key to what makes them different is something typically absent from rivaling companies: privacy. Apple notes that each product will have no ads, and that consumption behavior will never be handed off to marketers.
Many of the products announced will be available later this year. Below is a recap of the biggest news Apple shared at the event:
Apple TV Channels
First off is a new Apple TV update that will integrate channels such as HBO, PBS, and Tastemade so users don't have to go through third-party apps to access them. Users can pick which Apple TV Channels they'd like to subscribe to but they have to pay for each one. Apple did not share pricing details during the keynote, however.
Apple's video streaming service is officially called Apple TV+, and there's a good reason for that. First, it piggybacks off the company's existing Apple TV platform and the new Channels system — the "+" in the name is supposed to represent a Plus package for original programming. Whereas Netflix's library combines both original content and licensed shows, Apple TV+ merely refers to original content produced by Apple itself.
Speaking of original content, Apple didn't announce a lot of details. It did, however, manage to show off the incredible roster of Hollywood talent involved, including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Jason Momoa, and more. No trailers were shared, but the lineup will include documentaries about immigrant life in the United States, a sci-fi show set in a world where people are blind, and a Sesame Street program that'll teach kids how to code.
Apple News is getting magazines and a $9.99 monthly subscription tier that is available now as of writing. Note that the price covers family sharing, and Apple is making the first month free.
Apple News+ is the Netflix of publications, with unlimited access to several newspapers and magazines so long as the user remains subscribed. Magazines are specifically adapted for mobile viewing with an interactive look and feel. Moreover, 300 magazines will be available at launch.
Apple's new credit card seems a bit out of the blue, but it does make sense when one considers how the Cupertino brand has been attempting to evolve its payments system in several years past.
Users can apply directly from their iPhone and, once approved, the card is stored digitally on the Wallet app from which they can see their statements, balance, and payment due dates. It also tags locations and retailers to help users browse transactions and remember where they have made a particular purchase.
Made in collaboration with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard, Apple Card offers a 2 percent cash back reward, upped to 3 percent for Apple purchases, paid daily into the user's Apple Pay account that they can use toward many things. The card will be accepted wherever Mastercard is accepted.
Apple Arcade is a gaming subscription service. It's unlike Google Stadia in that it doesn't really stream over the cloud, though. Rather, it's more like a subscription to games available on the App Store. Users will be able to play games across Apple devices, including on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac, and they'll be available for offline play.