Apple Event 2019: From credit cards to News plus, here are the major highlights

Apple News+

Apple recently launched what some have called a “Netflix for news” – a $10-a-month subscription service that offers access to hundreds of magazines and a handful of newspapers. But most major US news publishers aren’t participating. Readers get access to articles from over 300 magazines, a smattering of digital sites and some newspapers. Human editors will select stories for the app, which will tailor news feeds to a reader’s tastes.

Apple pushed a privacy angle, saying advertisers won’t track what you’re reading the way Google and Facebook do across apps and websites. For publishers, the situation is complicated. Many big-name magazines are on board, hoping Apple brings them new paid readers. But many magazine articles are already available free online, even for magazines that are behind a paywall. The app, for now, lacks most major US newspapers. They may feel like they can find readers better on their own, or be wary of the terms of the revenue split with Apple, said Rick Edmonds, a media analyst at the Poynter Institute.

Apple Card: the first-ever credit card for iPhones

Entering the lucrative credit card business, Apple has introduced the Apple Card that is built into the Wallet app on iPhone, offering customers a familiar experience with Apple Pay and the ability to manage their card on their devices. Apple is partnering with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard to provide the support of an issuing bank and global payments network.

According to the company, Apple Card simplifies the application process, eliminates fees and encourages customers to pay less interest and providing a new level of privacy and security. Available in the US this summer, Apple Card also offers a reward programme with Daily Cash which gives back a percentage of every purchase as cash on customers’ Apple Cash card each day, the company said in a statement on Monday. “Apple Card builds on the tremendous success of Apple Pay and delivers new experiences only possible with the power of iPhone,” said Jennifer Bailey, Vice President of Apple Pay.

Customers can sign up for Apple Card in the Wallet app on their iPhone in minutes and start using it with Apple Pay right away in stores, in apps or online worldwide. Apple Card uses machine learning and Apple Maps to clearly label transactions with merchant names and locations. Purchases are organised by colour-coded categories such as Food and Drinks, Shopping and Entertainment. A unique card number is created on iPhone for Apple Card and stored safely in the device’s Secure Element, a special security chip used by Apple Pay.

Apple TV+ video streaming service

Apple’s on-demand subscription service will start in over 100 countries this Fall with a brand new programming from the world’s celebrated artists, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan and Jon M. Chu.

“There is a huge young population in India that loves to watch Hollywood originals. However, the key will be producing original desi content, strategic collaborations with industry players and storytellers and, most importantly, the pricing,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research.

Apple extending its services portfolio further into the streaming, gaming and news aggregation is a positive move, he said. “However, India is a different market; it is still a mobile and Android-first market. Streaming market has seen a stride in the recent past and it is quite fragmented. But it still provides a lot of opportunities for new vendors to explore this segment,” Singh noted, adding Apple needs a lot of localisation and competitive pricing to be relevant.

The Apple TV app will be available on Samsung smart TVs, beginning this spring and on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future. Later this year, customers with eligible VIZIO, Samsung, LG and Sony smart TVs will be able to effortlessly play videos and other content from their iPhone or iPad directly to their smart TVs with AirPlay 2 support.

Input from IANS and PTI

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