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Apple wants to handle some of its own financial services

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Apple’s financial results were all the company could ask for.
Apple supposedly wants to reduce the financial services it outsources.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Rather than letting existing financial companies handle all its payment processing, Apple wants to bring some of it in-house, according to an unconfirmed report. And the Mac-maker would also like to take on a range of other related services itself.

The goal is to reduce the amount of money Apple has to pay outside companies for financial services.

Apple snaps up UK credit company, sparking Apple Card expansion rumors

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Apple acquires Credit Kudos
Credit Kudos is now an Apple subsidiary.
Image: Credit Kudos/Apple

Apple this week acquired Credit Kudos, a credit checking startup based in the United Kingdom, according to sources familiar with the matter. An update to the Credit Kudos website confirms it is now an Apple subsidiary.

The move has ignited rumors of an upcoming Apple Card expansion into the U.K. Apple fans on the other side of the pond have been eagerly anticipating its arrival since Apple Card first made its debut in the U.S. in 2019.

Today in Apple history: Apple invents ‘slide to unlock’

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Apple didn't invent the Slide to Unlock gesture.
"Slide to unlock" drew audible gasps from the audience when Steve Jobs first showed it off.
Photo: Jared Earle/Flickr CC

December 23: Today in Apple history: Apple invents slide to unlock gesture for iPhone December 23, 2005: Apple files a patent application for its iconic “slide to unlock” gesture for the iPhone.

At this point, the iPhone remains a secret research project. However, the ability to unlock the device by sliding your finger across it signifies Apple’s big ambitions for its smartphone. Cupertino wants the iPhone to be easy to use, intuitive and miles ahead of the competition technologically.

Today in Apple history: Apple buys ‘iPhone’ web domain

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Loads of people love the iPhone SE's smaller form factor.
Do you remember when you first heard the name iPhone?
Photo: Sam Mills/Cult of Mac

December 14: Today in Apple history: Apple buys 'iPhone' web domain iphone.org December 14, 1999: Apple acquires the domain name www.iphone.org, prompting years of speculation that Cupertino is considering building a cellphone. While the news generates interest, some take it as a warning sign.

Apple only recently abandoned the kind of non-computer projects like games consoles, PDAs and digital cameras that proved to be dead ends earlier in the decade. An Apple phone could never be a thing, right?

The Shrink Next Door craps out a real party pooper [Apple TV+ recap]

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The Shrink Next Door recap: Sometimes parties are no fun at all.
Sometimes parties are no fun at all.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s true comedy The Shrink Next Door heads into its endgame this week. Manipulative psychiatrist Ike has all but moved into his patient Marty’s house in the Hamptons. And the bad doctor has started professionally throwing parties.

However, the longer the party goes on, the less fun it feels. The same is true of this show, which increasingly feels like it should have been a two-hour movie — if it needed to exist at all.

Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s

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Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
Siri had first been predicted by Apple back in the late 1980s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

October 4: Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s October 4, 2011: With the unveiling of the new iPhone 4s, Apple introduces the world to Siri.

A groundbreaking example of artificial intelligence in action, Siri’s debut fulfills a long-term dream at Apple. The company first predicted such a feature in the 1980s — with the Siri launch coming at almost the exact month Apple envisioned.

Primephonic purchase will power Apple’s standalone classical music app

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Apple buys Primephonic: Apple Music's classical catalog will get a big boost from Primephonic.
Apple Music's classical offering will get a big boost from Primephonic.
Photo: Samuel Sianipar/Unsplash

Apple Music’s purchase of classical music service Primephonic will give fans of the genre a richer experience, Cupertino said Monday.

Apple said it will work to incorporated the service’s features into a standalone classical app that will launch next year. The company promised high-quality audio, expert recommendations and playlists, exclusive audio content, “extensive contextual details on repertoire and recordings” and other advanced features for classical fans.

Tom Hanks returns to Apple TV+ in sci-fi heart-warmer Finch

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‘Greyhound’ launches on Apple TV+ on July 10.
Everyone loves to love Tom Hanks, and he’s starring in his second Apple TV+ movie.
Photo: Apple

Screen legend Tom Hanks will reportedly soon star in a second Apple TV+ movie. Finch will be the story of a man, a robot and a dog.

It follows Hanks’ Oscar-nominated Greyhound, which ended up on Apple’s streaming video service last summer when the pandemic closed theaters.

Proposed bill would stop Apple and other tech giants from acquiring companies

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iPhone 12 Pro parts cost shockingly little
Bill would stop tech giants splashing the cash.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a bill Monday that would ban mergers and acquisitions by companies with market caps in excess of $100 billion. If passed, the bill could have a massive impact on technology companies, including Apple.

Apple, for the record, currently has a market cap of $2.2 trillion. Other tech giants worth upward of $100 billion include Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb and Netflix.

Skydance Animation deal means lots of magic for Apple TV+

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‘Luck’ is coming to Apple TV+.
Luck, coming to Apple TV+, takes a trip to a world of good and bad luck to discover there are more powerful things than luck.
Photo: Apple/Skydance Animation

Apple TV+ and Skydance Animation inked a deal that will see two new movies and a series released on the streaming video service. The upcoming films for children are Luck and Spellbound. Plus, Apple signed up for two seasons of The Search for WondLa.