Apple announces multiple worldwide services for news, gaming, payment, and TV
During the Apple Special Event keynote today, the company responsible for Macs and iPhones the world over took care to not announce a single new hardware product and instead did a deep dive into software and services, announcing several initiatives.
The announcements ranged from subscription services like Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and Apple TV+; to renovated apps such as the Apple TV app; to even a new credit card developed by Apple and issued by Goldman Sachs, all while tying into a renovated Apple Pay and Apple Wallet.
Starting with announcing a paid service plan for Apple News aptly titled Apple News+, the service will provide unlimited access to a wide variety of magazines from cover to cover available for reading both online and offline. The official Apple newsroom post details that over over 300 magazines will be available at launch.
Next up was Apple Card, a new credit card operated and managed primarily using Apple Pay and Apple's Wallet app. That said, a physical card made of titanium will also be available only containing the cardholder's name and not information such as the card number, security code, or expiration month and year. As Apple Card is currently only announced for the United States and is partially a physical product, AlternativeTo will focus more on the ongoing developments of the other services Apple announced at this event.
Following this, Apple announced a new service for the Apple App Store to entice gamers that have grown weary of phone games revolving around ad and microtransaction revenue. The service, Apple Arcade, was detailed to feature over 100 games at launch that will not appear on any other game subscription service (such as Xbox Game Pass or EA Access) or on the Google Play Store. However, that does not stop these games from showing up on PC storefronts such as Steam or on console storefronts such as the PlayStation Network Store and Microsoft Store. Apple Arcade will launch in over 150 countries across iOS, macOS, and tvOS devices that meet the requirements.
The last major announcement came in the form of an updated Apple TV app alongside a new subscription service titled, naturally, Apple TV+. The subscription service will feature original programming from the likes of J.J. Abrams, Oprah Winfrey, and Steven Spielberg. The updated Apple TV app will also be available on Samsung smart TVs starting this spring (anywhere from now to June 21st), with Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony, and VIZIO devices getting the app with a vague timetable of "in the future."
Apple News+ will be priced at $10 a month in the U.S. and $13 a month in Canada, with the service expanding to Australia and the U.K. "later this year." Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ were not given pricing information, though both aim to begin service this fall (meaning anywhere from September 23 to December 21). We'll share more info including exact dates and pricing plans when that information becomes available.