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Breaking Down Apple’s March 2019 Announcements

Technology

Tammy Slaughter wrote this article

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The subscription-based model of business is growing more popular everyday, especially when it comes to apps.

Apple seems to have gotten the memo with the latest innovations unveiled during their March 2019 Apple Event.

This event brought new Apple subscriptions across news, television, and gaming.

Apple News Plus

Apple is now incorporating magazines into its news lineup with the launch of Apple News Plus.

For just $9.99 per month, subscribers will be able to access up to 300 magazines. Both digital and traditional news outlets are part of the service, including The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic and Vogue, to name a few.

A “Live Cover” display provides an all-new interactive look and feel for users.

Curious about what’s under the covers?

You’ll see highlighted stories of trending topics with brief descriptions meant to inform and catch the eye.

There’s some pretty tantalizing reasons to consider signing up for this service, too.

According to Apple, it would cost you $8,000 per year to subscribe separately to each of the news outlets and magazines offered via Apple News Plus.

Apple News Plus will also recommend stories you might like even if they’re from magazines that you don’t typically read.

At the same time, advertisers can’t track what you’re reading so you won’t receive targeted ads based on stories you click on (arguably the best part of this news service).

With this subscription-based news app, the emphasis is on curation, quality, and trust.

In the age of fake news and many consumers getting their news from Facebook and other social media sites, this will be a pretty big deal if Apple sticks to their claims.

With a few clicks and swipes, users can browse through the various magazines and news outlets they’re subscribed to as part of the service. New magazine issues and breaking news are automatically downloaded for offline reading as soon as they are released.

It’s important to note that the Wall Street Journal subscription offered via Apple News Plus will consist of a specific curation of content, with its financial analysis and business reporting notably missing.

It’s not entirely clear if any other subscriptions bundled into Apple News Plus service will be limited in any way – only time will tell.

It’s long been Apple’s mission to create the best magazine-reading experience on a mobile device (cue the introduction of the iPad back in 2010).

With this new subscription-based structure when it comes to news, Apple might finally be able to make good on that promise.

Apple Card

Perhaps the innovation we’re most intrigued about here at ChopDawg.com; the new Apple Card backed by MasterCard and Goldman Sachs promises to be a major disruptor in the credit card stratosphere upon its release this summer.

With “no late fees, no annual fees, no international fees, and no over limit fees,” the Apple Card will offer lower interest rates with no penalties for missing payments, with APR rates ranging from 13.24 percent to 24.24 percent based on credit.

 

Instead of a points-based reward program, Apple Card offers Daily Cash, which is applied straight to your Apple Card. Apple is offering 2 percent cash back on purchases made through Apple Pay using an Apple Card, and purchases from Apple will get 3 percent cash back.

Ironically enough, with this latest innovation, Apple will now be competing against the very same banks that once helped build Apple Pay.

But the Apple Card once again promises to be different, with the ability to apply for a card directly on your iPhone and receive a result within minutes.

Once approved, the card will be stored digitally on the Wallet app, where you can manage payments and view account statements with an easy-to-use app. There will be a physical titanium card, too,

Using machine-learning and Apple maps, the app will also tag and track locations and retailers to help you browse through transactions and remember where you may have made that elusive purchase.

The best part?

All of these details are stored locally, and are not being offered up to advertisers so your purchasing habits can follow you around the web.

Once again, your privacy is Apple’s major concern, with a card that generates a unique security code each and every time you make a purchase.

The new Apple Card doesn’t even have a credit card number, CVV, signature, or expiration date for that matter.

But not to fear; you will have the ability to generate a traditional 16-digit credit card number and CVV for any websites that aren’t yet compatible with the Apple Card.

Apple Arcade

The iPhone has never really been what you would consider a traditional gaming device (arguably it’s more one of convenience).

But Apple is hoping to change that with the new Apple Arcade gaming subscription service.

Apple Arcade will include popular gaming apps from the App Store instead of traditional titles that you can play on sets like the PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch (unless, of course, the game is also offered on iOS). This service will include access to more than 100 games that are exclusive to iOS. Pricing has not yet been released

 

You can also play games across Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and a Mac computer, and games will be available for offline play.

Apple is aiming to curate existing and new games in the App Store into its Apple Arcade subscription service.

Games will be downloaded and played straight from the App Store, and subscribers will be able to try games whenever they want and resume them across devices. All of the game features, content, and future updates will be included in the subscription price.

And the best part?

There will be no ads shown within the games.

Apple isn’t just curating the games for Apple Arcade; it’s actually planning to contribute to the development costs of creating them. This will allow Apple to ensure better, more immersive games will be available through the app store and by extension Apple Arcade.

Gaming Developers will be able to apply to this program before it is launched this summer.

Here at Chop Dawg, we feel this is going to be a complete game changer in the world of gaming development. Apple is willing to subsidize the cost of development to ensure they’re pumping out quality games, and we are here for it. Who knows, this new service may give the gaming giants of the world a run for their money.

And you already know there will be a race for new games brought to market to make it onto this service.

Apple TV Channels…and Oprah

Gone are the days of being redirected to a third-party app to view your content on an Apple TV.

The new Apple TV update will includes networks like HBO, PBS, and CBS. Simply add the network of your choice to an Apple TV Channel, and pay per channel instead of a traditional, large package from cable companies. Pricing has yet to be unveiled.

The existing Apple TV will be updated to include Channels this May. The app will be available through smart televisions, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV starting this spring.

In addition to the new Channels service for the Apple TV, there’s now also a Plus package launching this Fall for original programming. This content will be available on or offline.

“We designed a new TV experience where you can pay for only the channels you want all in one app,” Apple executive Peter Stern said. This is smart, because more consumers today are chord-cutting and this a la carte experience will be sure to attract more customers.

But wait, there’s more.

Apple also unveiled Apple TV Plus, which will be the home of new, original content. For a fee, of course.

Apple was even able to get Amazon and Hulu on board, and considering Apple’s new streaming service will showcase its own original content. Amazon and Hulu would have been in their right to decline. Notably missing from the lineup is Netflix.

But right now, this is about all that’s known about this soon-to-be service offering.

We know Oprah is making a documentary on workplace harassment, and that there’s a new show featuring Jason Momoa in the works, and that Steven Spielberg is bringing a new show to the table as well.

This is all very exciting, but that’s just it. It’s all hype and conjecture until we know more about the cost of this service, when its launching, and what type of original content we can expect from the Apple TV moving forward.

But one thing is for certain: Apple is coming for the entertainment streaming industry, and the other streaming giants out there better take note.

Subscribe to all of the things

It’s clear after Apple’s announcements that the subscription-based model for businesses and apps is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

This announcement also makes the bold statement that hey, innovation is not always about launching new, groundbreaking devices.

Take, for instance, Samsung’s Unpacked event last month.

Sometimes, it’s about innovation with software and apps.

And as app developers ourselves, we are here for that.

If you happened to miss the event, check out this 10-minute video summing up everything Apple unveiled for March 2019:

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