| Cult of Mac

Apple News+ subscribers are sick of seeing ads and paywalls

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Apple News+ trial
"Apple News sucks."
Photo: Apple

Some Apple News+ subscribers are reportedly unhappy that they see so many ads — and are blocked from accessing certain publishers — despite paying a monthly fee for supposedly unlimited access to magazines and newspapers included in the service.

Many users say they already canceled their subscriptions, with some criticizing Apple for not paying publishers enough to remove ads.

Apple One subscription isn’t fazed by different Apple IDs for Apple Music and iCloud

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An Apple One bundle might be announced in September. Or October.
Apple One is the Amazon Prime-style bundle for all your services in one.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Apple One subscription bundle service promises to make your monthly Apple subs easier by rolling them into a simple, one-off payment. But what if your existing subscriptions, such as Apple Music and iCloud accounts, are tied to different Apple IDs?

Fortunately, Apple’s longest-serving employee, Chris Espinosa, says that poses no problem. “It manages that,” he wrote in response to a question on Twitter. “I just double-checked.”

Apple One is the Prime-style bundle that will lock us into Apple services

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Amazon Prime video
Can Apple follow the Amazon Prime formula?
Photo: Morning Brew/Unsplash CC

Apple One, which bundles several of the company’s vaunted services together, is a genius move. At best, it saves you money. At worst, it looks like it does.

I think it’s going to be a massive hit for Apple, and will provide a much-needed boost for struggling services like Apple News+ and Apple Arcade. However, it might cause some big headaches in Cupertino, too.

From Apple TV+ to Apple Arcade, Cupertino’s new services fail to bring in big money

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Share Apple TV+
Apple services may not be bringing in the cash, Bloomberg says.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

As Apple’s services division grows in importance, the company’s newest services — Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and Apple Card — are failing to bring in significant revenue, according to a new report.

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman writes that, while services likely will increase yet again when Apple announces its Q3 earnings this week, most of these gains will come from older services like the App Store.

Apple gets hacked, and the vanishing of prolific leaker Jon Prosser, this week on The CultCast

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CultCast 442: AirPods with health sensors
This week's gigantic Twitter hack gives us the creeps.
Image: The CultCast

This week on The CultCast: A massive Twitter hack has Apple pushing a bitcoin scam to millions! Plus: iOS 13.6 brings some cool new features to Apple News. And we’ll tell you the newest info on Apple Glass, while pondering the fate of Jon Prosser, the prolific Apple insider who vanished right after leaking details on the AR specs.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

iOS 13.6 brings expanded Apple News features and other cool stuff

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Apple News layers on new features in iOS 13.6.
Apple News layers on new features in iOS 13.6.
Photo: Apple

Apple released iOS 13.6 Wednesday, boosting its Apple News offering and bringing other new features to iPhone and iPad.

As expected, the company added audio versions of key stories from Apple News+, the paid version of its news aggregation service. Apple also added a new daily audio show called Apple News Today, which is available in the free version of the Apple News app.

In addition, the company beefed up its list of organizations pumping news content into the service. However, the Apple News audio features will only be available to U.S. users, the company said.

Google rival to Apple News+ will be free

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News app top stories
Apple News+ could be about to get fresh competition from a premium version of Google News.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Google will pay publishers so it can create “a new news experience launching later this year,” the company said Thursday. While the announcement is vague, Google seems to be putting together a rival for Apple News+, a subscription news-aggregation service for Mac, iPhone and iPad.

iOS 13.5.5 beta hints at possible Apple services bundle

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Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+
Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and Apple News+ could all be part of 'Apple Prime.'
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple seemingly hasn’t abandoned its possible plans for an “Apple Prime” service that combines all its subscriptions into one single package. In a report published late Wednesday, 9to5Mac discovered references in the iOS 13.5.5 beta code to a “bundle offer” and “bundle subscription” that didn’t previously exist.

The idea could be to offer a services bundle combination of Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple TV+ and, potentially, Apple Arcade, at a lower price than buying each individually. Whether it happens, of course, is another matter entirely.