Apple services

Today in Apple history: iCloud takes our files and photos to the sky

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Steve Jobs shows iCloud to the world.
Steve Jobs called iCloud Apple's hard disk in the sky.
Photo: Apple

October 12: Today in Apple history: With iCloud launch, Apple moves beyond its digital hub strategy October 12, 2011: Apple launches iCloud, a service that lets users automatically and wirelessly store content and push it to their various devices.

iCloud’s arrival marks the end of Apple’s Mac-centric “digital hub” strategy — and ushers in an age of inter-device communication and non-localized files.

Today in Apple history: Ping social network fails to strike a chord

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Ping iTunes
Apple's music social network starts strong but fails fast.
Photo: Apple

September 1: Today in Apple history: Apple's Ping social network fails to strike a chord September 1, 2010: Apple’s new music-focused social network, Ping, ships as part of iTunes 10. Apple says the service will let users discover new music and more easily follow their favorite artists.

Ping racks up 1 million signups in the first 48 hours. Nevertheless, Apple’s social network is doomed from the start.

1 billion subscribers push Apple’s services revenue to all-time high [Updated]

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Apple logo with
Apple says more than a billion paid subscriptions pushed services revenues to an all-time high last quarter.
Photo: Goran Bogicevic/Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

The number of people subscribing to Apple services passed the 1 billion mark during the company’s most recent financial quarter, allowing that segment of the company to bring in record revenue.

But total revenue decreased slightly during the June quarter, the third time that’s happened in a row. And the money coming in from all Apple’s hardware groups is down.

Today in Apple history: MobileMe gets to R.I.P.

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MobileMe
So long, MobileMe.
Photo: Apple

July 1: Today in Apple history: Apple shuts down MobileMe web service, pushes iCloud July 1, 2012: Apple shuts down its MobileMe web service, pushing users to switch to iCloud.

Launched in 2008, Apple’s subscription-based suite of online services and software includes features like Find My iPhone, a MobileMe photo gallery, chat facilities, an online calendar, storage and other cloud-based services.

After letting it limp along for four years, Cupertino finally decides to pull the plug, giving MobileMe users until the end of July to remove their data from the service.

Today in Apple history: Apple’s eWorld online service goes live

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Enter Apple eWorld. Short of a Nirvana MIDI file playing in the background, you can't get more 1990s than this!
It doesn't get more 1990s than this!
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

June 20: Today in Apple history: Apple launches eWorld, a subscription service for Mac owners to get online June 20, 1994: Apple launches eWorld, a subscription service for Mac owners that’s designed to compete with America Online and other nascent online properties.

Part messaging service and part news aggregator, Apple envisions eWorld competing with heavy hitters like AOL, Delphi, CompuServe and Prodigy. Unfortunately, Apple’s online service is doomed from the start.

5 reasons to ignore Apple’s rare revenue dip

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Apple logo overlayed in front of a stormy sky with sun breaking through the clouds, and the text,
Despite a 3% year-to-year drop in quarterly revenue (to "only" $94.8 billion), Apple delivers plenty of reasons for optimism.
Photos: Michael & Diane Weidner and Sumudu Mohottige/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

Perhaps the best phrase to describe the results of Apple’s most recent financial quarter is, “It could have been worse.” Total revenue dropped 3% as the company battled inflation and other macroeconomic problems not of its making.

Still, Apple’s quarterly numbers beat the overly pessimistic Wall Street estimates. And there is more good news buried in the results Apple reported Thursday (and in the company’s earnings call with investors). Read on for five reasons to be optimistic about Apple’s future.

Stash your cash in a high-yield Apple Card Savings account

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Apple Card Daily Cash can go straight into 'high-yield' savings account
A new Savings account for Apple Card holders includes a Savings dashboard to track progress.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple Card Savings launched Monday, allowing money earned from Apple Card’s cash-back program to go into a high-yield savings account. And it is high-yield — at 4.15%, the annual rate is about 10 times higher than the national average.

There are no fees for the new financial service, and users can bring in their own cash from other banks that offer lower interest rates.

Today in Apple history: eWorld closes its virtual doors

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Enter Apple eWorld. Short of a Nirvana MIDI file playing in the background, you can't get more 1990s than this!
Short of a Nirvana MIDI file playing in the background, you can't get more 1990s than this!
Image: Andrea Grell/Ste Smith

March 9: Today in Apple history: eWorld closes its virtual doors March 9, 1996: Apple confirms that it will shut down its eWorld online service at the end of the month.

Part messaging service, part news aggregator — and all with Apple’s customary premium prices — the short-lived eWorld proved ahead of its time. Apple tells disappointed eWorld subscribers they can switch to America Online instead.

Only loyal Apple customers can use Apple Pay Later

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iPhone using Apple Pay Later
Apple Pay Later: For the rest rich of us.
Image: Apple

In order to be approved for Apple Pay Later, the company’s own buy now, pay later service, individuals will need to be loyal Apple customers. The service has strict hoops you need to jump through: Apple will check your spending at Apple Stores, purchases and subscriptions on the App Store, Apple Cash payments, Apple Pay history and more.

Even if you work for Apple, you may only be approved for a $1,000 loan. The feature continues to undergo internal testing after being delayed since September, according to Bloomberg.

Apple refuses to give up on iPhone hardware subscription service

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iPhone 14 Plus vs. iPhone 14
Multiple Apple financial services efforts have hit engineering hurdles.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple continues working on its long-rumored iPhone hardware subscription service despite hitting several roadblocks. The service was first rumored to launch in late 2022.

With a subscription service, Apple will allow customers to get the latest iPhone by paying a monthly fee. This would save them from shelling out the total device cost upfront.

Apple Pay Later could launch next month with iOS 16.4 [Updated]

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Apple Pay Later
Apple Pay Later could finally be ready to launch.
Graphics: Apple/Rajesh

Apple Pay Later reportedly has entered beta testing among Apple’s retail store employees, signaling that the “buy now, pay later” service is nearing public release.

The move comes months after Apple announced the financing option at its Worldwide Developers Conference last June.

5 upbeat takeaways from Apple’s optimistic earnings call

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A rainbow Apple logo looms over a cloudy sky with the sun peeking through. The words
Wall Street might not be happy right now, but Apple sees strong growth ahead.
Image: Cult of Mac, based on photos by Aaron Burden and Sumudu Mohottige/Unsplash License

Although Apple’s December 2022 quarter was something of a disappointment, thanks to declines in revenue and profits, company executives accentuated the positives whenever possible during an earnings call with investors on Thursday.

Here are some upbeat developments coming out of Apple’s Q1 2023 financial results, including a significant milestone in active users and a big jump in iPad revenue.

Apples hikes prices of Apple TV+, Apple Music and Apple One

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Apple is raising some subscription services costs for the first time.
Apple is raising some subscription services costs for the first time.
Photo: David Švihovec/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

Apple plans to raise the prices of some of its subscription services by $1 to $3 each, reports indicated Monday. The services include Apple TV+, Apple Music and the Apple One subscription bundle.

Users should see the price increases, listed below, with their next subscription renewal.

Apple App Store, iCloud, other services go offline in major outage [Updated]

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Not just you: Several Apple online services are having ‘issues’
Many of Apple’s most-used services went offline early Monday, but things seem to be getting back to normal.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Mabel Amber/Pexels CC

Update: About two hours after various Apple services experienced widespread problems Monday, the company reported that things should be back online.

It’s not just you: Many Apple services are offline Monday. The outage affects 23 of Apple services, including many high-profile ones that users depend upon. The list of Apple services disrupted includes the App Store, iCloud, Apple Maps and Apple Music.

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 Business Essentials gives companies tools to manage employee devices

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The new Apple Business Essentials service brings device management, support and storage into one subscription for small businesses.
The new Apple Business Essentials service brings device management, support and storage into one subscription for small businesses.
Photo: Apple

Apple launched a new service aimed at small businesses Wednesday. Now in beta, Apple Business Essentials bundles device management, Apple support and iCloud storage into flexible subscription plans for companies with up to 500 employees.

Cupertino also unveiled an app for the service that enables employees to install apps for work and request support.

Apple’s entrance into comprehensive small business tech services by subscription could spell trouble for companies already in the space, such as Jamf and Hexnode.

Apple’s $6 billion blues and other earnings revelations

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Apple Q4 2021 earnings call: Supply chain woes cost Apple an estimated $6 billion in revenues last quarter.
Supply chain woes cost Apple an estimated $6 billion in revenues last quarter.
Photo: Alireza Khoddam/Unsplash CC/Cult of Mac

Apple made a record $20.6 billion in profits last quarter but is getting punished because $83.4 billion in revenue didn’t meet Wall Street analysts’ expectations. Turns out even the Cupertino juggernaut is not immune to supply chain problems — $6 billion worth of them.

Here’s the bad news — and the good — from Apple’s September 2021 earnings report and a Q&A session with analysts afterward.

Here’s why you can’t make an Apple Card payment [Updated]

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Apple online services having technical problems
Apple Card has been hit with a software outage.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Linnaea Mallette/PublicDomainPictures.net

Update: Apple changed the status for Apple Card from “outage” to “resolved outage” Wednesday afternoon. The service was offline for almost exactly six hours.

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Apple Card users may find that they’re unable to make a payment or see recent transactions. Apple reports that the software that handles these tasks for its credit card has been having problems for several hours.

iCloud Mail ‘issue’ leads to slow Apple email [Updated]

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iCloud Mail ‘issue’ leads to slow Apple email
Your Apple email is slow or not arriving at all because iCloud Mail is having problems.
Photo: Zachary DeBottis/Pexels CC

Update: Apple changed the status on iCloud Mail from “issue” to “resolved issue” on Thursday afternoon. Problems with the service persisted for about 5.5 hours before being fixed, though.

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It’s not just you having problems with an Apple email account. Apple reports that iCloud Mail has been having an ‘issue’ for several hours.

The service is not completely offline, however.

5 takeaways from Apple’s latest Mac-tastic quarter

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Mac FTW! Apple earnings Q2 2021: Sales of new M1 Macs powered Apple to yet another record-smashing quarter.
Sales of new M1 Macs powered Apple to yet another record-smashing quarter.
Photo: Wes Hicks/Unsplash CC

Apple did it again. It just announced a quarter where it didn’t just beat everyone’s expectations, it blew them away. The Mac had a phenomenal quarter, and so did iPhone and iPad.

But you don’t have to bury yourself in spreadsheets to get the lowdown on what it all means. Just read on.

Apple Fitness+ reaches out to pregnant women, older adults, beginners

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Apple Fitness+ is adding several new workout categories on April 19: Workouts for Pregnancy, Workouts for Older Adults, and Workouts for Beginners.
Apple Fitness+ is adding several new workout categories on April 19.
Photo: Apple

Apple Fitness+ will introduce new workouts geared specifically toward pregnant women and older adults next week, the company said Thursday. There will also be new Yoga, High Intensity Interval Training and Strength workouts for beginners coming soon to Apple’s subscription fitness service.

App Store, licensing deal with Google could supercharge Apple services

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As the world shifts from web browsers to apps, tensions may rise between Apple and Google over search.
Google is a major source of Apple's revenue.
Photo: Solen Feyissa/Unsplash CC

In a Tuesday note to clients, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty raised her services-related revenue forecast for Apple through 2022 even as she lowered the overall price target for AAPL stock.

“Following strong March quarter App Store results and an analysis of the key drivers of Apple’s Licensing & Other segment, we raise our already above-street FY21 and FY22 Services revenue estimates by 3% and 5% respectively, and are increasingly convinced that consensus Services forecasts over the next 2+ years are too low,” Huberty wrote.

With Apple Fitness+ launching today, early reviews praise its excellent form [Updated]

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Apple Watch is key to the new Apple Fitness+ subscription service.
Apple Watch is key to the new Apple Fitness+ subscription service.
Photo: Apple

With Apple Fitness+ set to launch Monday, a handful of early reviews say the subscription service is a winner that makes fitness fun.

If you’ve got an Apple Watch and access to gym equipment in your home, it’s practically a no-brainer at $9.99 a month. Could this be a Peloton beater?

Apple Fitness+ launches on December 14

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Apple Fitness+ will whip you into shape starting December 14.
Apple Fitness+ will whip you into shape starting Monday.
Photo: Apple

Apple Fitness+, Apple’s $9.99-a-month subscription workout service built around Apple Watch, will launch December 14.

The service will launch with 10 workout types. These include High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, Cycling, Treadmill (for running and walking), Rowing and Mindful Cooldown. The sessions are led by an elite team of fitness experts we profiled here.