After much anticipation from both Silicon Valley and Hollywood alike, Apple has finally announced its very own streaming service: Apple TV+. Today, on stage at Steve Jobs Theater on Apple Campus in Cupertino, CA, Tim Cook spent almost two hours highlighting updates to the brand's fleet of services, including a new Apple TV app and the Apple Card.
First up, Tim Cook announced that Apple will be bringing magazines to Apple News, which is already the App Store’s most popular News app, in a new service called Apple News+. The service will include over 300 magazines across entertainment, fashion, news and politics, health, and lifestyle, all in one place. Its Today tab will show top stories, trending news, and personalized recommendations, like Apple News already does, but News+ also includes live covers and infographics. You can read individual articles, or download entire issues to the My Magazine tab to browse cover-to-cover by simply swiping from article to article. You can also tap on the table of contents to navigate to a different article within the issue.
The service also includes The L.A. Times, The Cut, TheSkimm, and The Wall Street Journal. And, impressively, it provides expertly curated recommendations by using on-device intelligence to understand your preferences, which means, importantly, that it does not allow advertisers to track you. This means your preferences on the app will not follow you off the app.
Apple News+ costs $9.99 per month, with family sharing available at no extra charge. It’s available starting today in the U.S. and Canada, with the first month free.
With the increasing success of Apple Pay, Apple is adding a credit card to its arsenal of services. Meet Apple Card, created in partnership with Mastercard and Goldman Sachs and designed to work with the iPhone. To enroll, you can sign up on your iPhone and start using it immediately, anywhere Apple Pay is accepted. And Apple is putting an emphasis on financial health — with Apple Card’s iPhone interface, you can track your spending right on your devices, week over week and month over month. If you have a question, you can get support by texting through iMessage. And the transaction history will list comprehensible names — not the codes usually on your credit card statement — so you can easily see where past transactions took place.
Every time you spend with Apple Card, you get 2% cash back in the form of Daily Cash added to your Apple Cash Card in the Wallet app, to use wherever you want. And on purchases from Apple, you get 3% cash back.
Each Apple Card comes with a unique per-device code, and each transaction is protected with TouchID or FaceID. Apple also doesn’t know where and how much you spend — all of that information is stored on your device.
You can also get a physical Apple Card to accompany your digital version for vendors that don’t accept Apple Pay. This titanium card is especially secure — it doesn’t have a card number, CVV, expiration date, or signature, and all transactions made with the card get you 1% cash back. Apple Card will be available in Wallet starting this summer.
Apple expects its customers to make 10 billion transactions on Apple Pay in 2019, with 70% of merchants in the U.S. accepting it as a mode of payment. And now, Apple Pay is coming to public transit, too — starting with Portland, OR, with Chicago and New York City coming soon.
The App Store is visited by half a billion people each week and offers approximately 300,000 games, both free and paid. Now, Apple is working with game developers to offer Apple Arcade, the first-ever game-subscription service for iPhone, iMac, iPad, and Apple TV — which is launching with over 100 new games. Apple Arcade will be available this fall, with pricing and more details to come.
The New Apple TV App
The new Apple TV Channels feature inside the updated Apple TV app offers a simpler TV experience, where you only pay for the channels you want (rather than buying a bigger bundle than you need) and can access them all in one app instead of having to bounce between subscription services. The channels include HBO, Starz, Showtime, Hulu, CBS All Access, Amazon Prime, Bravo, and more. You can watch on demand and ad-free, and download shows to watch online or offline.
The new Apple TV app also provides personalized recommendations using machine learning and lets you swipe easily between recs. The new app, including Apple TV Channels, will be available via a software update in May. Plus, the Apple TV app is coming to smart TVs, Roku, and Amazon, and to Mac this fall.
For the final announcement of the day, Apple brought out a star-studded cast of actors, directors, and musicians. Steven Spielberg took the stage to announce his latest venture to roaring applause, followed by Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell, who, after some hilarious banter, introduced their forthcoming Apple TV+ dramedy, The Morning Show. Up next, Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard asked the audience to close our eyes while sounds of swooshing water filled Steve Jobs Theater — an introduction to their new series, Sea. And JJ Abrams and Sara Bareilles are teaming up to create a new series called Little Voice, a show about being a young woman living in New York, finding her voice through music.
Apple TV+ is ad-free and available on and offline. All of its content is downloadable and can be viewed on the new Apple TV app on desktop, iPhone, iPad, and smart TVs. It’s coming this fall, available in over 100 countries.
And last but certainly not least, Oprah announced her partnership with Apple TV+ to a standing ovation. She shared her goal “to reach that sweet spot where insight and perspective, truth, and tolerance actually intersect.” To that end, she is working on two documentaries — one about sexual assault in the workplace, currently titled Toxic Labor, and the other about mental health and the devastating effects of anxiety, PTSD, and trauma.
Oprah also plans to create a book club, connecting readers to new books across all Apple’s devices.
Editor's Note: We will be updating this story as more information is released.