Apple TV+: Show line-up, cost and everything else you need to know about the streaming service — plus Apple Arcade and a fancy titanium credit card
Apple has been tussling with the idea of remaking TV in the same uber-successful minimal vein as it has done for computers, music players and phones for some time now. After it first made public the "iTV" streaming box in 2006 (which was eventually renamed to Apple TV in 2007), its inimitable co-founder Steve Jobs revealed in his official autobiography in 2011 shortly after his untimely passing that he had "finally cracked it" and that the company was on its way to create an "integrated television set that's completely easy to use".
About 13 years since that pronouncement, on 25 March 2019, Apple unveiled its most ambitious plans yet at its expansive Cupertino site: a streaming service with Apple-produced original television shows and films. We've cherry-picked the best out of the 2-hour Keynote below.
Apple TV Channels
About: Apple TV app will witness an upgrade to Apple TV Channels, an all-in-one space to discover the best television shows and film right now. You'll be able to watch on-demand and ad-free, both online and off with phenomenal picture and sound quality across all devices including for the first time on the Mac, and even on smart TVs by brands such as Samsung. Apple will be including content from cable and broadcast networks such as HBO and Showtime too. The user interface, on the other hand, is strikingly similar to Netflix with tabs like "Watch Now" and "Up Next", which will be curated by Apple's expert editors and personalised by on-device advance machine learning. Sports fans will be happy to hear that they'll get to watch the world's biggest sporting events as well and even receive notifications as the games progress.
Cost: Pricing will be announced in the second half of this year.
Availability: In May in over 100 countries and regions
About: Apple has empowered film's greatest visionaries to bring some of the "best stories ever told" to life. Outstanding filmmakers such as Steven Speilberg (who received a standing ovation during his Keynote appearance), Sofia Coppola, M. Night Shyamalan, Ron Howard and Damien Chazelle have projects in the pipeline.
List of original Apple-produced shows
1. A-list actresses Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston have paired up with comedian Steve Carrell to create Morning Show, an honest behind-the-scenes look at broadcast newsrooms.
2. Aquaman's Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard will star in See, an atmospheric post-apocalyptic series where survivors are rendered completely blind.
3. Comedian Kumail Nanjiani has created Little America, an anthology series of immigrant stories that remind all of us that we are all more alike than different.
4. One of the most beloved kid's shows, Sesame Street will see a spin-off called Helpsters that will introduce coding to preschoolers.
5. Director JJ Abrams and singer-songwriter Sarah Bareilles have joined forces for Little Voice, an episodic series that centres around a young woman trying to make it as a musician in New York City.
6. Oprah Winfrey is hoping to "illuminate consciousness through compelling conversations with people from all walks of life" through two upcoming documentaries: Toxic Labor shines the spotlight on sexual abuse in the workplace while a currently untitled documentary takes a closer look at the mental health crisis that's sweeping the world. She will also lead live-stream conversations with authors who have been featured as part of her long-running Book Club.
Other stars who have come on board include Jada Pinkett Smith, Brie Larson, Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Rashida Jones and Jennifer Garner.
Rating: The shows will likely receive a whole spectrum of ratings from kid-friendly to adult viewing for above 18-year-olds.
Release Format: It is expected that some of the content will be available all at once while others will be on a weekly basis but this has not been confirmed yet.
Compatibility: Available across all Apple devices and selected smart TVs
Ads: It'll be an ad-free subscription.
Availability: In over 100 countries and regions in the second half of the year
Cost: Pricing will be announced in the second half of this year.
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About: Created about three years ago, Apple News has become the reigning news app today. The service has now been expanded and renamed to become Apple News+, which will include about 300 magazines across a broad range of topics: entertainment, fashion, politics, lifestyle, travel and just about anything under the sun you can possibly think of. Apple News+ will also elevate the reading experience with moving covers that come alive to draw readers in. Beautifully laid out print pages will also be reflected on-screen so that each magazine's distinct look and feel remains true to its art direction and aesthetic.
Cost: The first month is free. Subsequent months cost $9.99 (per month) with family-sharing at no extra charge.
Availability: The service is available today in the U.S. with Canda and Europe following later this year. No news yet on when Apple News+ will be available in Singapore.
About: Conceived with the vision to replace the pocket-busting wallet, Apple Pay has racked up more than 10 billion transactions in 2019. On top of expanding its use on public transportation networks, Apple has partnered with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard to introduce an all-new credit card simply titled, Apple Card. Hoping to upend the traditional (read: financially fraught) experience of credit cards, Apple Card's people-first approach extends from its design to its flexible interest structure. Sign up for it on your iPhone and you'll get to use it in minutes where ever in the world Apple Pay is accepted. Stowed away in the wallet app, it tracks all kinds of financial data to put your mind at ease. That means you get to see how much you owe, when payments are due and how much you've spent in an instant. Waiting on hold when calling your bank's customer service helplines is also over because, with the Apple Card, you'll get the help you need through iMessage just like texting a friend. What's more, you'll get cashback daily. Real cash that you can do anything with. If Apply Pay is not accepted, you'll get to flex a titanium card that's laser-etched with just your name.
Cost: No late fees, annual fees and international fees. Flexible interest structure depending on how much you spend and when you pay.
Availability: Summer 2019 (around May/June)
About: Games like Angry Birds draw half a billion people to the App Store each week, and that number is set to increase exponentially with Apple Arcade, a gaming subscription service in partnership with the finest talents in the gaming industry. With a new dedicated tab on the App Store, Apple Arcade will feature more than 100 new and exclusive games that span the gamut of visual and interactive gameplay. New games will be added constantly so that the goldfish attention span of yours doesn't fizzle out. Better yet, you'll get to play anywhere whether there's Wi-fi or not. All of this without any ad interruptions and additional purchases.
Cost: No additional charge for family-sharing.
Availability: Now on App store with latest iOs update