Last week Apple held air March 2019 event, at which they announced a bunch of different services, including Apple News+, Apple Card, Apple Arcade, and Apple TV+. Before the event I made my predictions about what I thought Apple would announce. Let us see how I did.
Magazine Service – 100% Apple unveiled Apple News+, which is a magazine subscription service that will cost $9.99 per month and includes 300 or so magazines for you to subscribe to.
Video Service – 100% Apple unveiled their Video subscription service, Apple TV+. While they did not announce a release date, nor a price for the service, they did unveil it.
iOS 12.2 – 95% Apple did release iOS 12.2 on Monday, with support for Apple News+, the AirPods and more.
macOS 14.4 – 95% Just like iOS 12.2, macOS 14.4 was released on Monday with Apple News+ and support for the AirPods.
Magazine Service Pricing at $9.99 – 90% Apple News+ is $9.99 per month, which includes Family Sharing.
Subscriptions to 3rd party video – 85% Along with Apple TV+, Apple unveiled Apple TV Channels which are a way of subscribing to third-party channels, like HBO, ShowTime, and others.
The inclusion of newspapers – 80% Apple News+ does include a three newspapers, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Toronto Star (Canada Only).
Texture iOS app going away – 50% While this was not announced at the event, it was announced later in the week that Texture was going away. If you look at the Texture website, it will show that the Texture app is going away.
Texture Android versions remaining – 50% As is the case with many of the multi-platform services that Apple acquires, the non-Apple platform version goes away. This is the case with the Texture service, although it seems odd given that Apple is pivoting towards services, and they are leaving out a rather large segment of the population. However, there was never a Texture app for windows, but Apple News is on macOS. It could be that the Android versions
Bundle of all Apple Services – 75% There was was no bundle announced at the event. Maybe there will be in the fall.
Apple Services Bundle Price of $29.99 – 50% Again, no bundle was announced, so I got this one wrong.
Apple TV Stick – 20% There was no hardware announced at the event, so I go this one wrong too.
AirPower Mat – 1% It was announced on Friday, by Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch, that Apple has cancelled AirPower. So it is not likely that we will be seeing AirPower in the future.
Overall, out of 13, I got 9 predictions correct. That’s not bad, that means I got 69.23 percent correct, which seems to be better than most of my guesses for Apple events.
While the releases last week primarily focused on Apple News +, Apple Card, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade, Apple did release iOS 12.2 and macOS 14.4. There was another operating system released last week; watchOS 5.2.
watchOS 5.2 fixed 29 security vulnerabilities, but beside that watchOS 5.2 brings the ECG app to Europe and Hong Kong. The ECG app has now been cleared by the European Commission.
The ECG app on the Series 4 Apple Watch will allow Apple Watch users will be able to check their heart rhythm to check for any anomalies, particularly Atrial fibrillation, or AFib.
After you have downloaded watchOS 5.2, you can use the ECG app to take your heart rate. This is done by placing your finger on the sensor and the app will take a reading. At the end of the sensing, your results will be displayed. If AFib is detected, a notification stating as much will be shown. Otherwise, you may get a “Sinus Rhythm” notification, which is a normal heart rhythm.
In order to get any of this, you need watchOS 5.2, which is available for download, for free, today via the Watch app on your iPhone.
Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch is reporting that Apple has cancelled a product that they announced in September of 2017, AirPower. AirPower was supposed to be a Qi-compatible charging mat that would have been able to charge multiple devices at once. Devices like the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods Wireless charging case.
In a statement to TechCrunch Apple’s Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Dan Riccio emailed Panzarino with the following statement:
After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward,
At its initial announcement AirPower was supposed to be released in December, but it did not ship at that time. It was then supposed to be delayed until 2018. It is reported that the issue with AirPower was that there were issues with heat and the coils.
It now falls into place why Apple released AirPods 2 along with the Wireless Charging case now instead of later with the release of AirPower.
I will not lie, I was looking forward to seeing AirPower in action. Sadly, we may never get to see AirPower. It is possible that Apple will release a standalone Qi-compatible charger, but it is not likely that it will happen. It is not impossible, just not likely. Instead, Apple will likely cede the market to other manufacturers.
Even though it is not going to be an actual product, it is good to see that Apple acknowledge that it has officially been cancelled. Sometimes physics gets in the way of a good product. It may be possible that it will be looked at again in the future, but I would not hold out too much hope for that being the case.
From time to time Apple updates the requirements for submitting applications to the App Store. Apple has done so again. Starting tomorrow, March 27th, 2019, all new application submissions, as well as app updates, will have some new requirements.
Any app submission will need to be built against the iOS 12.1 SDK, or newer. As part of this requirement, new submissions will require screenshots for the iPhone XS as well as the iPad Pro, if the app is universal.
If you develop watchOS apps, there are also new requirements as well. All watchOS updates will need to be built against the watchOS 5.1 SDK as well as supporting the Apple Watch Series 4.
There is one last item to be aware of, regarding your apps. iOS 12 has changed the way that the amount of memory your app uses. Under iOS 11, if your app used purgeable, nonvolatile memory, the resources you allocated were not counted against your application’s memory usage. This changed in iOS 12. Now, all of the memory that your app allocates will count against its limit. And if your app exceeds the limit, it will likely be terminated.
Many applications already meet these requirements, but if your application does not, it is something to be cognizant of, and you will have to meet the requirements, otherwise your application will be rejected.
Today Apple held their March event. With the release of last week’s hardware, this event was all about Services. Today Apple announced a few new services, Apple News+, Apple Card, Apple Arcade, and Apple TV+. Let us go in order of announcements, but before that Apple had a new video., which can be seen on their YouTube channel.
The first item on the agenda is Apple News+.
Apple news was introduced with iOS 9 in September of 2015. While it seemed like an odd prospect at the time, Apple News has become a place where users can get personalized news articles based upon your interests. There are over 5 billion articles read every month. That is a lot of news.
Apple News Plus uses the smarts of Apple News and adds some additional features. Apple News+ is a monthly subscription service that provides access to more than 300 magazines. Some of the magazines included are National Geographic, Popular Science, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, O: the Opera Magazine, and many many more. But that is not all. Apple News+ also adds a couple of newspapers as well. Both the Los Angeles Times as well as the Wall Street Journal are included.
Typically when new subscription services are released they tend to be U.S. only for a while. That is not the case with Apple News+. Apple News+ will also be available in Canada. Apple News+ subscribers in Canada will have access to the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspapers.
Apple News+ will cost $9.99 per month, or $12.99 in Canada. For your subscription fee you will get access to all of the magazines as well as the newspapers, in your country. But you can also share the subscription with your family members, who are in the a Shared Family. Each member of a family will get access to Apple News+, as well as their personalized feed.
When you use Apple News+, none of the articles that you read are not tracked and advertisers cannot track you based upon what ads you see.
Apple News+ is available today by updating to iOS 12.2 or macOS 14.4. When you get started with Apple News+ you will get the first month free, and the subscription will be automatically renewed after the free trial ends. The next item announced is related to Apple Pay.
Apple Pay and Apple Card
Apple Pay is Apple’s mobile payment service that was introduced in October of 2014 with iOS 8.1. Apple Pay is extremely popular, with billions of transactions per year, with this year being on track to have more than 10 billion transactions. Apple Pay is expanding in a couple of different ways. The first is that Apple Pay is coming to major transit systems, including Portland, Chicago, and New York. All of these will be available at some point this year.
The second change is a bigger deal, an Apple-based credit card. The Apple Card takes what we all have come to expect from a credit card and enhances it. Apple Card is a credit card that lives on your iPhone and integrates with Apple Pay.
Apple Card can provide you with a breakdown of different categories of items that you have purchased. Each category will have its own color. You can also get your balance, what you have spent, and your payment due date all from the Apple Card screen.
When you are looking at your transactions, you can get a location of any of the transactions, including a map, of where your purchase was made. This uses Apple Maps to show the locations.
Credit cards often provide rewards. The Apple Card does as well. The rewards are quite simple. You get 2% Daily Cash for all purchases that you have used with Apple Card. This is deposited directly into your Apple Pay Cash account. If you purchase something from Apple, including in a physical store, as well as the App Store, or the Apple Store app, you will actually get 3% daily cash.
There is one last benefit that is will be welcome by just about anyone; No fees. There are no fees what-so-ever. This means no annual fees, no cash-advance fees, no over-the-limit fees, and no late fees.
Even though Apple Pay is accepted in a wide variety of places, including 99% of establishments in Australia, 70% in the United States. There are places where you cannot use Apple Pay, or Apple Card. So There is a physical Apple Card for those times. This card is a titanium card and even the physical card has privacy in mind. The Apple Card has no card number, no CVV, no expiration date, and no signature.
However, all of this information is available in the wallet app. For any purchases made with the physical card, you will get 1% Daily Cash, so even those purchases will provide some money back.
The next item that was announced relates around gaming, and it is called Apple Arcade.
The iOS App Store is a very popular app, with over 500 million people visiting the app eery single week. The biggest category for the App Store is gaming. Gaming on mobile is becoming an ever-increasing activity on iOS devices.
iOS provides two different types of games, either free games or paid games. Free games are typically supported by in-app purchases or by ads. Paid games are games that are paid up front and you generally get the whole experience with your purchase. One of the problems with paid games is that it is not always possible to determine how popular a game will be and putting a significant amount of development effort into a game does not always mean that the game will be successful.
In order to make sure that the gaming experience is the best across all of Apple’s platforms, Apple is introducing a service called Apple Arcade.
Apple Arcade will allow customers to get a subscription that will provide access to bring over 100 brand new games. Apple Arcade is an all you can play subscription that does not include any ads nor any in-app purchase. You can even play while you are offline with no internet connectivity. Just like Apple News+, an Apple Arcade subscription can be used by any family member through family sharing.
Apple Arcade games is still privacy focused by now allowing the apps to learn how you play, or any of your information without your explicit consent.
Apple Arcade will be available this fall to over 150 countries and revisions. Apple Arcade will be available on iOS, macOS, and tvOS. You can find more information, as well as see preview of some of the games at https://www.apple.com/apple-arcade/.
There is still one last announcement for the event, Apple TV+.
It is well known that Apple is making a huge investment into original video content. It is no surprise that Apple will have a subscription service, they have named it Apple TV+. The way that you get all of this content is through the Apple TV app. Apple TV+ will be available in more than 100 countries. All of the content will be available for downloading for off-line viewing.
Today’s event was absolutely focused on services. There was an over-arching theme, services that protect your privacy. All of the services announced today, protect your privacy by performing any recommendations on device as well as not providing any of your usage information to the providers, that includes Apple. Along with protecting your privacy, you will also be able to share any of the services with your family members.
While most of the services are not available today, they will be available by the end of the year. Excluding Apple News+, the services will be available in multiple countries.
Apple News+ is available today ,with a free trial for $9.99. The cost of the other services, Apple Channels will be available in May through the new Apple TV app, and Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ will be available this fall.
The entire keynote can be streamed on Apple’s page for the event.