The first Apple event of 2019 is finally upon us and it promises to be unlike any other Apple keynote we’ve seen.
Services are set to be the star of the show as Apple busts out a new TV streaming app, news subscriptions and maybe even an Apple Pay credit card. Rumors have been ramping up leading to today’s “It’s show time” event, but there are still plenty of surprises waiting for fans. As always, Cult of Mac is live-blogging the whole dang thing with up-to-the-minute analysis on all the new stuff. Apple CEO Tim Cook takes the stage at 10 a.m. Pacific — most likely with a ton of Hollywood A-listers in tow — but we’re gonna get the party started a little before that.
Come join the fun:
That was pretty great to begin with. Apple News+ and Apple Arcade look very interesting. We didn’t get to see enough of Apple TV+ to decide whether it has a chance of competing with Netflix and Amazon, but it certainly has some interesting shows lined up.
And Tim wraps by thanking the most important people watching – Apple’s customers!
And it’s finally over.
Cook is wrapping up now as he reminds how important these services are to Apple. Will there be a “one more thing”?
Thank god he didn’t high-five her like he did Bono.
“I will never forget this,” Cook tells Oprah as she leaves the stage. He looks so giddy.
There are a bunch of celebrities in the audience that didn’t get invited on stage, including Chris Evans, Jane Krakowski, and Phil Schiller.
Please tell me we’re about to hear Oprah shout, “YOU GET AN AIRPOWER! You get an AirPower! And you get an AirPower!”
Man, Apple is really pushing the goody two-shoes nature of its programming. Optimism, inclusion, creativity, inspiration – these are the watchwords of Apple TV +. And Oprah Winfrey is certainly a good person to deliver that kind of content. It’s time to “heal our divisions,” she says.
Oprah is teaming up with Apple on two documentaries.
AirPower under everybody’s seat!
Oprah is the biggest star Apple’s got… and it’s got a bunch of them.
Funny to think that a charging mat would have been more exciting than some of Hollywood’s top names, but here we are
Apple’s shows sound awesome. They could have done a better job in showing off some of the content, though.
This one gets a video introduction.
That means another celebrity guest…
That clip reminds me of one of the Academy Awards shows’ sizzle reels of everything up for best picture. Probably what they’re shooting for as they emphasize the “high-quality” nature of Apple’s original shows.
“We have one more remarkable storyteller to share with you this morning,” Cook says.
“This is just a sneak peek,” Cook says. “The beginning of something very exciting.”
Apple TV+ is “the destination where the world’s greatest story tellers will bring their best ideas to life,” Apple says.
You’ll find it inside the TV app. It’s an ad-free subscription service featuring Apple Originals, and it will be available in more than 100 countries this fall.
It’s a shame if you fell asleep before you got a chance to see that.
It features clips of all the shows Apple just teased, and they all look pretty interesting.
We’re finally going to see a video.
It was all going so well until now.
I think Apple should have splurged on a real piano onstage rather than an electronic keyboard. That’s a missed opportunity.
Make it stop
I’m not sure this is going to sell TV+ subscriptions.
And now Bareilles is going to sing.
And it continues. JJ Abrams and Sara Bareilles are up next to talk about Little Voice.
Will this ever end?
Muppets are going to teach coding on a new show called “Helpsters” (I think). Big Bird and the rest of the puppets are going to make kids smarter and help them “change the world.”
They’ve even made Big Bird boring.
It is very, very strange.
This is so odd. Seems like a total waste of time.
Cody joins him.
Apple’s next guess is … Big Bird from Sesame Street.
There’s a critical rule about storytelling that Apple’s forgetting: show, don’t tell!
GIVE. ME. SOME. TRAILERS.
We’re hearing about Little America now, which tells the story of immigrants across America.
This is pretty strange … stars describing their new shows. It’s like they’re on the radio.
We haven’t seen a single trailer yet.
It’s Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard are now on stage to talk about See.
Be on the lookout for “The Morning Show”? Does that mean we get no sneak peeks?
Charlie probably also thinks the UK version of the Office is funnier than the US version.
Like the skit that the office clown does at the Christmas party. Maybe that’s the point?
The lights go down again. Who’s up next?
I thought it was pretty funny.
Finally, some star power!
This skit is painful.
Fingers crossed that Bono makes an appearance.
Steve Carell joins them.
They better show some clips of these new shows. Don’t make us wait!
Witherspoon and Aniston are up on stage now. They get an even bigger cheer. They’re announcing The Morning Show.
“We want to transport the audience with every episode” of the rebooted Amazing Stories, Spielberg says.
Spielberg is working with Apple to bring back Amazing Stories, a science fiction anthology series.
It was a very well-done video. Not very Hollywood though. Very Apple-esque.
That’s a pretty cool moment!
Spielberg is one stage now. He gets a standing ovation.
I actually thought that video was pretty great. But will Apple’s shows live up to it?
A symphonic soundtrack builds as we hear of the incredibly dramatic story of the challenges these STORYTELLERS face as they seek to … tell their stories.
@Lewis I bet it turns to color when they reach Oz.
The intensity is building.
And it’s black-and-white. So arty!
Reece Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston also feature. As Luke says, these are all the big names associated with Apple’s original shows.
Amazing that Hollywood manages to make their bit more boring than a credit card launch
This video underlines just how many big names are involved with this project.
Apple keeps emphasizing how important storytelling is. It’s now showing us a video featuring the likes of Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, and Ron Howard, who also remind us how important storytelling is.
We just got a brief glimpse of Captain America in the audience.
Captain England typed this update.
“Great stories can change the world,” Cook says. So Apple wants to contribute something important to our society and culture by telling new stories.
Sounds awfully high-minded. And maybe squeaky-clean.
Apple TV+ looks like another subscription service, presumably the one you’ll need to see Apple’s original shows.
There’s also an Apple TV+.
Are the original shows coming up?
Cook has more to say about TV.
Apple TV is available in 10 countries today. Over 100 countries will be supported by the new TV app.
Who even needs an Apple TV box now?
Samsung, LG, Vizio, and Sony sets will be supported initially. Apple TV is also coming to Roku and Amazon!
If Apple can actually do away with the cumbersome registration and authorization (and re-authorization) process that currently exists, it will be sweet. They’ve tried with Single Sign-0n, but it hasn’t really totally solved the problem.
The Apple TV app is also coming to Smart TVs!
Apple TV is coming to the Mac this fall.
The Apple TV shows are going to be the “one more thing…” right?
We haven’t seen anything about Apple’s original shows yet, though.
I don’t use the TV app much since I don’t have an Apple TV. And this certainly isn’t encouraging me to get one. It doesn’t look all that special at all.
But if you subscribe to several channels, it’s going to get pretty pricey.
The UI for the new TV app looks really smooth, but also really busy… So many viewing options.
Apple just showed us how easy it is to subscribe to a channel. Showtime was priced at $10.99 a month. It’s not clear whether others will cost the same.
TV now features autoplaying trailers, like Netflix.
Sports features current games with live scores, and shows you what’s coming up.
There are also tabs for Movies, TV Shows, Sports, Kids, and your Library.
The new TV is personalized for you, so it will present you with recommendations based on what you like to watch.
Watch Now is the first tab you’ll see inside the new TV app. It’s where you’ll find the shows and movies you’re watching, so you can continue where you left off and easily access the next episodes.
Starz, Showtime, and HBO are some of the services included.
The new Apple TV app features Apple TV Channels. It lets you subscribe to the services you want, without all of the extra fluff you don’t want to pay for.
Cook addresses the big (first-world) problem with peak TV.
“With so many choices, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start,” he says. The Apple TV app is supposed to make that simpler.
Apple is now about to show off an all-new TV app.
We’ve seen some great stuff so far, but the TV stuff could be the most exciting for most.
No pricing yet… Guessing it’s going to be way more than $10 per month
Apple Arcade will be available this fall in 150-plus countries. No word on pricing, though.
Cook is now moving onto TV.
Apple Arcade is launching in over 150 countries this fall.
And again with the checklist of Apple’s key features of all the company’s services.
I thought Apple would have a hard time filling up a 1.5 – 2 hour keynote with nothing but services, but this has actually been a more exciting event than I expected.
They all need great controller support. We don’t want to play games at length using touch controls.
Apple is now showing off more of the games. They all look amazing so far.
Like News+, Apple Arcade will support Family Sharing at no extra cost.
And when we say free to play, we mean there will be no extra cost after you’ve coughed up for an Apple Arcade subscription.
All Apple Arcade games will be completely free to play. Any updates will be free, too. There will be no ads or in-app purchases.
And no, you won’t need an internet connection to use them.
100+ new and exclusive games,
Arcade is built into the App Store. Your subscription lets you play any of the titles you’ll find inside the Arcade tab as much as you like. And you can seamlessly switch between iOS, tvOS, and macOS and pick up where you left off.
Subscribing to Apple Arcade gives you access to over 100 games.
@Ed I’d prefer it if Apple allowed us to just use any controller. There’s already a standard among consoles that works just fine.
Overland, which was just announced for Switch in a recent Nintendo Direct, is one of the games coming to Apple Arcade.
My wish/dream is that Apple Arcade includes a standard for a handheld game controller that every title must support.
These don’t look like your typical iOS games. They look like titles you would normally play on a PS4 or PC. But they are only previews for now.
Apple Arcade is the first interesting new Apple product name I’ve heard in a while. But then, I remember spending time in an arcade in the ’70s.
It is previewing some of them, and they look terrific.
Apple is working with game developers to bring true console-quality titles to your Apple devices.
Apple is ;positioning Arcade as a way to bring attention to for-pay games. Not free with in-app payments.
Apple Arcade is the first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and living room.
It better include the new AR version of Angry Birds
Getting ready to announce the gaming subscription service.
Only 1% daily cash back on the titanium Apple Card though.
No number, no date. Jony Ive has spoken
Oh look, a titanium Apple Card. Of course Apple had to make a stupid beautiful physical card too.
The card is titanium, with your name laser-etched on it. Because of course it is.
Apple won’t track what you buy. Goldman Sachs will still know, but like Lewis said, it won’t sell the info.
Of course the Apple Card is aluminum
And again with the privacy — partner bank Goldman Sachs will never share or sell your personal data, Apple says.
I can’t believe how excited I am for Apple Card.
Wow, the feature that shows you how much you’re spending on interest is pretty handy for the financially challenged. The Apple card has no late fees, no annual fees, no international fees and no over-limit fees.
Plus, low interest rates.
Is this the most consumer-friendly credit card ever?
Apple Card has no fees. Interest rates will vary by customer.
I wonder if we can spend our daily cash on AirPower? I’m guessing not.
The Apple Card’s Daily Cash feature gives you 2 percent cash back on purchases, and 3 percent on Apple services.
Audience shouting “woah!” about credit card statement design is peak keynote
Admittedly, the way it simplifies spending — by using geo-location and similar — is pretty cool. It’s like Screen Time for spending.
Are all the Apple execs on stage dressed as movie characters? They totally are!
An Apple credit card may be cool, but a lengthy presentation about it definitely sucks the excitement out of the room.
Apple Apple completely rethought the credit card to take advantage of all the iPhone’s power. You can sign up for it on your iPhone and use it in minutes.
This new Apple Card looks like it’ll be way less confusing for, well, everyone. And less rip-off-y.
Apple Card is Apple’s own-brand credit card, built on principles like transparency and privacy.
Apple Pay is coming to transit payments in Portland, Chicago, and New York City.
Apple Pay with begin to work with public transit services this year, starting with Portland, Ore., Chicago and New York City. That should be handy.
Apple credit card news incoming.
By the end of this year, Apple Pay will be available in more than 40 countries.
On target to surpass 10 billion transactions this year.
Now talking about Apple Pay!
Looks like it will be limited to the United States and Canada to start. Coming to Australia, the U.K. and Europe later this year.
They got some great Canadian magazines too, eh!
Currently only in the U.S. and Canada to start with, though.
And Family Sharing is free! It’s “an amazing value”! And the first month is free, too.
I feel like I’m watching QVC.
At $9.99 this will get some attention. I agree, Family Sharing is a real bonus.
If this is available outside the U.S., then I’ll give it a try. Family sharing is a great idea.
Here comes the sales pitch. If you subscribed to all these magazines individually, you’d pay $8000 a year. But you can get them all for just $9.99 a month!
$9.99 per month — with family sharing thrown in for free.
Apple News has always been “private from the ground up.” Apple doesn’t know what you read, and advertisers can’t track you.
More doubling down on the privacy front. Seems to be a popular talking point.
Privacy is one of the big selling points of Apple News+. Advertisers can’t track you and Apple doesn’t know what you read.
Recommender system is all done in-device. That means no advertiser tracking, which is great for customers. Probably less good for publishers.
Apple went with The Wall Street Journal and The LA Times but The New York Times and Washington Post wouldn’t get on board,
Plus “digital” properties (The Skimm, TechCrunch) and at least a couple big newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.
And the Wall Street Journal. No New York Times yet, though.
It also supports The LA Times.
It’s cool that the app can offer layouts that vary depending on which device you’re using.
News+ fits much better on an iPad.
The man’s wardrobe is killin it, Lewis. More presenters like this, please.
The recommender system could be a good way of pointing you toward magazines you might not normally read.
I can’t take my eyes off the white jumpsuit with the floods and the tennis shoes.
This really doesn’t look much different from Newsstand. I wonder if it will take off.
Their demo of diving into a magazine look pretty tantalizing. But do enough people want to subscribe to 300 magazines per month?
Live Covers for magazines look brilliant. That’s moving images.
Apple News+ sounds cool and all, but can we take a minute to talk about this guy’s outfit? Eddy Cue wishes he could pull this look off.
Awkward moment, where they announced 3,000 magazines. Then corrected it to say 300 magazines. Suddenly that sounds less impressive!
MAGAZINES! MAGAZINES! MAGAZINES!
Apple News+ boasts over 300 magazines.
Man, this actually looks pretty good. As long as it’s not hella expensive
Shhh! No-one remembers Newsstand, Charlie. You’re being so 2018.
Apple is pretty darn great when it comes to these montages.
We’re now watching a new video featuring journalists and photographers that showcases Apple News+.
Vogue, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Rolling Stone … Cook rolls out a string of big-name glossies that will power Apple News+ service.
That’s not a very catchy name
Little known fact: Tim Cook is Apple’s shortest ever CEO by quite a margin:
Time, Vogue, People, NatGeo, Popular Science, Billboard, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair and Fortune were named dropped.
Magazines are “iconic and a part of our culture,” Cook says. And they come to life in Apple News+.
Apple is bringing magazines to Apple News!
Apple prioritizes the value of content over the propensity of headlines to seek clicks and likes. So it’s Apple vs. fake news.
It’s an “essential daily destination for millions of people,” Cook says.
5 billion articles are read on Apple News every month, which makes it the number one news app.
We’re starting with updates to Apple News.
Today services will become “more entertainment, more useful, and more informative,” Cook says.
Services, unlike hardware, are also curated by expert editors and personalized just for us.
“We take the same approach at Apple with our services as we do our products,” Cook says.
That means they must be easy to use, and they must keep our personal information private and secure.
Cook also gives Apple Music, Podcasts, the App Store, Apple News, and Books a mention.
Rare shot of Jony Ive in the crowd there.
Cook says Apple Maps is, somehow, the most-used navigation app on iOS “by far.”
Cook reminds us of some of Apple’s best services, like iCloud Photos. It’s just “one example of the benefits that come from the seamless integration of hardware, software, and services,” he says. It’s something “Apple does better than anyone else.”
If you didn’t know, today is going to be all about services, Tim says. No hardware here.
Cook confirms today’s event is all about services.
That probably means no AirPower. Again.
That awesome movie opener was from “Think Different Productions” and featured a bunch of Apple products.
Cute Saul Bass-style credit sequence.
That retro intro was pretty amazing. 10 out of 10 would watch again
Apple is killing it with this opening video. Very Quentin Tarantino-esque 1970s trippiness. Movie credit style.
I need at least one “yeah bitch” from Aaron Paul at this event…
A number of TV and movie stars have already been spotted at the event, including Aaron Paul, Ewan McGregor, Rob McElhenney, and Tim Robbins.
If you’re coming into this cold, here’s our predictions of what will be announced today.
It’s nearly show time! If you’re not watching yet, follow these steps.
We’ve heard that Roku is a possibility before. It’s one I’m looking forward to, as it’s likely to be the most affordable option.
Apple TV app might be coming to Roku.
Roku CEO Anthony Wood is here at the Apple staging area. Roku wasn’t one of the device makers that announced a deal with Apple at CES but looks like they will be today.
— Peter Kafka (@pkafka) March 25, 2019
Early take of the crowd: Bit different than usual. Less press. Less non-U.S. representation judging from languages spoken.
— Neil Cybart (@neilcybart) March 25, 2019