“APPPLEEEE!” - Oprah yesterday.
Apple just took the hood off a bunch of services, deviating from its traditional hardware announcements (it announced new AirPods, the iPad Air and iPad Mini last week) and instead unveiled new content and services for its ~1.4 billion active devices.
We broke down everything you need to know about yesterday's Apple Event:
The event's crown jewel was the reveal for Apple TV Plus, an ad-free streaming platform that Apple's been working on for years. In addition to Oprah, celebrities like Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspooon, J. J. Abrams, Steve Carell and Kumail Nanjiani took to the stage to promote original content that will premier exclusively on the platform. 📺
Apple TV Plus will be available in over 100 countries starting in the fall, but there's no price tag on how much it will cost yet. However, Apple might actually give away these shows for free to anyone with an iOS or tviOS device, which could compliment the redesigned Apple TV app coming in May.
Apple also announced Apple Card, a new credit card service that folks can sign up for directly from their iPhone. The card has zero fees, low interest rates and a decent rewards program: users get 2% cash back on spending via Apple Pay. 💸
The Apple Card is a clever move by Apple. Users will only get the 2% reward when they pay with their phone (via Apple Pay), which may force more physical retailers and restaurants to support Apple Pay. Whereas Apple Pay was more of a convenient perk for iPhone users in the past, Apple Card holders will be losing money if they can't pay with their phone. Another thing: This 2% cash back will go into Apple Pay Cash, which is a Venmo competitor. 🤔
Apple also said that Apple Pay will be supported by public transit systems in Chicago, Portland and New York City later this year.
Apple Arcade is Apple's new subscription services for video games, where users will get access to over 100 new and exclusive games. The news comes a week after Google announced its own streaming gaming platform, Stadia. 🎮
Apple News Plus is an extension of Apple's existing news app, which will now include over 300 magazines. The initiative is largely based on Texture, the Hulu-for-magazines app that Apple bought last year. Apple shared a bunch of new partnerships on this front, including publications like theSkimm, The Wall Street Journal, Vox, The LA Times, The Cut and TechCrunch. 🗞
ICYMI: Catch up on this week's Maker Stories.