Apple’s It’s Show Time Event reviewed

Okay, it’s be about an hour since I sat through the live stream of Apple’s latest media event, It’s Show Time.

You can check out everything that was announced on the site, and I’ll link to it, but now that I’ve had a chance to process it all, I thought it would be good to go back and review it all.

And it was a lot.

The Crew

Apple started off the event with a movie credits like introduction. You can see some of the pictures that I managed to grab that they were really focusing on the media aspect of this event.

The Intro Video for the It’s Show Time Event

Apple brought more people on stage today than they have at any event ever. New faces from Apple crossed the same stage that Hollywood celebrities stood and announced new shows.

There seemed to be a wide range of genders, races, and faces today. I think that was an amazing thing for those people that hadn’t been represented much before.

Everyone seemed to do a great job, with a couple of lost places and stammers as expected for people that don’t usually get to show up on stage.

Themes

As well as the Service theme that ran through the show, Apple really pushed a couple of other themes throughout each announcement – privacy and simplicity.

Every person onstage that introduced a new service always brought up the fact that Apple and it’s partners don’t know what you’re doing, how much you’re spending, or what you’re seeing. They also promised to not sell your data.

With our data being sold to the highest bidder left and right, it’s refreshing for a company to really care about the privacy message. I’m sure Apple won’t sell our data, but I’m sure they will use it. I also grew tired of every presenter saying the same thing about data. It might not have been as effective just saying that they wouldn’t do it for any of the services at the end, but it would have been less annoying.

The other theme would be family sharing. Each of the services mentioned today all include family sharing. Apple knows that you want to share your apps, videos, and everything else with your family, so every service will be sharable through your Family Sharing on iCloud. The only problem so far is that only one of the services was given a price today.

Apple News Updates

As expected, Apple announced updates to Apple News.

Apple News Updates
Apple News Updates

This was the most leaked aspect of the show prior to starting, and there wasn’t really anything to shocking here. You can subscribe to the service which will allow you access to a ton of magazines inside the Apple News App. There are also a few paid news sites that also dig into the service, but you can tell that Apple wanted more.

Inside the app, Apple showed off rich content that moved or animated as you clicked it.

Tim and Apple News+
Apple News+

With today’s update to iOS 12.2 you can subscribe to the News+ service. You get a month trial. I’ve jumped in, and I don’t see the rich content that Apple showed off, but I’d have to imagine it’s coming – as long as there are readers there, which will be telling.

I’m not thrilled with the service yet. I signed up and scanned a magazine, but right now, I won’t be keeping the service once I have to pay for it.

Apple’s charging $9.99 a month for the service, and as mentioned, if you have Family Sharing set up, everyone in your family gets the service for no additional cost.

Apple Card

This was the most intriguing announcement to me today. Apple is going into the credit card business!

The Apple Card
The Apple Card

I’m not really sure how I feel about Apple becoming a bank, but I think they sold the Apple Card. They seem to want to disrupt the credit card industry and I’m okay with that.

The Goals with the Apple Card
The goals with the Apple Card

Apple plans to fix the application process, fees, interest rates, rewards, and privacy of credit cards.

When the card launches this summer, all you have to do is go to your wallet on your iOS device and apply for the card there. Reportedly, you will know if your accepted within minutes and have the card in your wallet app, ready to use. Apple will also send you real card as well, but that card won’t have anything on it but the Apple logo and your name. Everything else like the card number and CVV will be in the app if you need it.

Apple claims that they won’t be charging any fees either. No yearly fees, no late fees, nothing. They will show you the interest rate of the card, and how much you’ll owe based on how much of your balance you pay off. The idea is to help you manage your money and your debt better. It looks pretty slick honestly. It could take a bite out of a company like Mint.

In regards to rewards, Apple is offering 1%, 2%, and 3% cash back depending on what you’re buying or using.

If you use the actual, real-life, credit card you’ll get 1% cash back on your purchase. If you use Apple Pay on a device you’ll get 2%, and if you buy something directly from Apple you’ll get 3%. The cash back should come to you the same day as well, so you don’t have to wait for the end of the billing period to come back to you.

It all seems pretty cool if you use credit cards. It’s not enough to steal me away from my travel credit cards but I’ll still probably get the card and put all my Apple purchases (of which their are numerous) on the Apple Card.

Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade was announced today as well. It is Apple’s attempt to fix the broken game model on the App Store as it is.

Apple Arcade
Apple Arcade

Because of the race to the bottom app model, games that are of quality but actually charge upfront don’t survive in the App store. They are eaten up by those free-to-play but have In-App-Purchases, or Pay-to-win games. It’s hard for people to pony up some money for a game when they can get one for free.

We got a sneak peek at a few of the games that will be in the service with a promise of 100+ at launch. We know that there won’t be any In-App-Purchases with any of those games. There will be a special section in the app store for all of these games as long as you have the subscription.

The subscription will cross from iOS to macOS to tvOS so you can play across all your devices. This might actually give the Apple TV a jumpstart in the games that it has needed for a long time.

I don’t feel like enough was really revealed here to know what to say just yet. Once the price gets rolled out, it will probably be a great deal for gamers. If you’re not a gamers, I’d hold off for sure on this one.

Apple TV App

Apple TV apple refresh
the Apple TV app

The Apple TV app will be getting a redesign coming up soon. While it will mostly act the same, now you can add services from within the app. If you want to watch a show that’s only on HBO and you don’t have cable or access to an HBO account, you can sign up within the app.

There will be more focus on You as a watcher as well. The app will try to recommend shows it thinks you will like. It seems like a good thing, and it’s free.

The updated design looked pretty fresh, and I’m excited to see how it really works out. If it recommends stuff for me to watch and I actually like it, it could be a game changer. If it’s like Apple Music and it’s hit or miss recommendation, it’s still free!

Also announced, the TV app will be coming to the Mac this fall. Does that mean that iTunes is about to be sunsetted?

Apple TV+

Finally, Apple gave us a glimpse of the Apple TV+ service. This will be where all the new content they’ve paid to create will be stored, but we don’t really know much more about it than we did before the event.

I found this part slightly boring myself, but it was cool to get some of the makers of the content on the stage.

This was just a quick preview of what each show will be about, but Apple did promise that the creativity would be top notch and world-changing.

There is for a sure a good amount of quality names on the list of shows, but no mention of price. No mention of the launch date. But we did get a sizzle reel of the shows.

The most interesting thing that stuck out to me in this part was the mention of Oprah’s book club. She said that they were going to have a book club on the service were users could ask her or author’s questions during the episode? There wasn’t much clarity, but it sounded interesting.

Wrap Up

There was no AirPower, or even a mention of hardware on stage other than you can use this service across all your devices.

Some of the services were interesting and seemed well thought out, but there doesn’t seem to be enough information for them all yet to really get excited about. There was also no mention of a bundle to tie all your payments together.

If you subscribe to iCloud, Apple Music, News, Arcade, and TV+ you could be looking $50 a month. That’s not bad for all that you’d get, but that’s a lot of money per year. I think as more services launch, it will really need to look at a bundle price for it all.

Overall, it was an interesting Apple Event. It wasn’t the normal event that’s for sure, but it still felt familiar in the end. Still with only one service actually launching today, there’s not much to get excited about.

What did you think of the event? Let me know in the comments.

Leave a Reply