Highlights from Apple’s Annual Spring Event

Last Monday, Apple held its annual Spring Event in sunny California. The event was centered on new or updated software and services, a little different from the typical new product keynotes we all watch in anticipation. The thousands of people watching from home were amazed by what Apple is pumping out in the next few months, while those fortunate enough to be sitting in the audience got some surprise visits from big-name celebrities. Here are all the big announcements you missed from the star-studded keynote:

1. Apple TV+

Apple having its own streaming service has been long-rumored and even longer awaited. Soon, service will come straight to the Apple TV app where users will be able to subscribe to certain channels and browse all the shows produced by that channel. Possible subscription channels include HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS All Access and the Smithsonian Channel. Later in the event, Tim Cook took the stage with celebrities like J.J Abrams, Steve Carrell, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston to announce Apple TV+, a service separate from Apple TV’s updates. Apple TV+ will be comprised of original shows produced by Apple Productions. The celebrities on stage all took some time to talk about the shows they were working as part of this new platform. Aside from those in attendance, there was a long list of other actors and directors working with Apple on this venture, including but not limited to: Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Brie Larson, Kristen Bell, Spike Lee and Jason Mamoa. Original Apple content will be available in the beginning of Fall 2019, and although it is a subscription service, Apple did not announce what their intended price for it will be.

2. Apple News+

If you have an iPhone, then you likely have the Apple News app. You might not use it a lot though, seeing as we can get news just about anywhere these days. That might all change for you with the new Apple News+ subscription. This new service uses hundreds of magazines from Time to Vogue to Vox, all for the low price of $9.99 a month. Apple boasts that without their service, the individual subscriptions to all the magazines they’re offering would cost $8,000 a year. This is great news for any active publication subscriber, seeing as you will save money AND get way faster access than you would if you still pay for non-digital subscriptions. You also don’t have to worry about Wi-Fi because all your magazines can be downloaded for offline viewing! Apple News+ is now available on iPhones and iPads with the iOS 12.2 update and is offering a free trial for your first month, so get to the App Store quick!

3. Apple Arcade

We all probably play our friends in 8 Ball more than we would ever admit. Apple is trying to take all of our obsessions to new levels with Apple Arcade. The new service will provide over 100 brand new games in partnership with some popular video game developers, all airing sometime in fall of 2019. Aside from the huge library of games, Apple is taking pride in the subscription allowing access to up to six family members, offline gameplay, and the ability to jump between Apple devices while playing. Unlike the games you might download from the App Store, these arcade games won’t have any ads or in-app purchases. If phone games are your thing, then the fall is sure to be an exciting time for you. If you aren’t an avid phone game player, then maybe Apple can change your mind! Prices for the subscription have not yet been announced.

4. Apple Card

Apple already allows you to link cards and use Apple Pay to complete purchases, and they’ve just made the whole process a thousand times easier. One of the most exciting parts of the event was the announcement that they are partnering with Goldman Sachs to launch an Apple Credit Card. This card will work within the Apple Pay app, as well as offer a physical titanium card for any places that don’t accept Apple Pay. Unlike traditional credit cards, the Apple card will not have late fees, annual fees, international fees, or over-limit fees, and will have an unlimited rewards program for all purchases made through the service. The card will be available sometime this summer, and lots of Apple fans were freaking out over the first Goldman Sachs credit card having such a good deal with a big company like Apple. If you thought AirPods were a flex, wait until everyone starts showing off their fancy new cards!

Apple has a reputation for having amazing quality products and efficient services, and we’re sure that these new rollouts will just add to the list! There are, of course, those people that have their doubts that services like these are “too good to be true.” What do you think? Will these services live up to their expectations? Do you plan to use the new Apple Card? Tweet us your thoughts at @HCFloridaState!

All images courtesy of Apple.