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 “digital hub” strategy — and ushers in an age of inter-device communication and non-localized files.

More free Apple TV+ with subscriptions extended through January

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Apple gives away up to 3 more months of Apple TV+.
All who received a free Apple TV+ subscription last autumn just got an extension.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple added up to three months to the free Apple TV+ subscriptions it gave many of its customers in 2019. And it’s giving monthly rebates to some of those who paid for an annual subscription.

Apple did not give a reason for the extension. But it might give the service time to start the second seasons of its original slate of programs. These likely would be beginning already, but the COVID-19 pandemic shut down production for months.

Meet the super-fit team behind Apple Fitness+

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Can you keep up with Apple's new team of trainers?
Can you keep up with Apple's new team of trainers?
Photo: Apple

Over the past 12 months, Apple quietly assembled an elite team of fitness trainers from around the world. Bound to secrecy, they’ve been moving across the country to start new lives in Los Angeles, without even being able to tell their friends exactly what they’re up to.

These are the stars of Cupertino’s latest subscription service, Apple Fitness+. It’s the first Apple-branded product to focus so intensely on a handful of individuals. So, as you’d expect, they’re a pretty extraordinary bunch. Let’s meet them!

Apple takes on Peloton with new Fitness+ service

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With Apple Fitness+ you can workout in front of your TV Jane Fonda-style
With Apple Fitness+, you can work out in front of your TV, Jane Fonda-style.
Photo: Apple

Apple took its fitness offering to the next level Tuesday with a new addition to its stable of subscription services: Apple Fitness+.

Integrating with Apple Watch and featuring exclusive workout videos from a team of “world-class” trainers, this upcoming service is designed to provide a new way to log workouts and close your Activity rings.

Apple explores new ways to promote its services

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Apple services are important to the company’s future profits.
Apple.com was all about Apple TV+ on Friday. It’s all part of advertising this company’s services.
Screenshot: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple TV+ took over the Apple.com home page on Friday. And the company also released a lengthy video about a game recently added to Apple Arcade. These Apple services are seen as increasingly important to its bottom line. And the company is using new ways to advertise them.

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.

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, MobileMe was a subscription-based suite of online services and software created by Apple. It included features like Find my iPhone, a MobileMe photo gallery, chat facilities, 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!
Photo: 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 the likes of AOL, Delphi, CompuServe and Prodigy. Unfortunately, Apple’s online service is doomed from the start.

Head of Apple News+ leaves after lackluster start

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Liz Schimel was Apple’s Head of News Business.
Liz Schimel handled the business side of Apple News+, but apparently not any more.
Photo: Condé Nast

Liz Schimel joined Apple’s news division in 2018, and was on board during the launch of News+. But the subscription service hasn’t seen much success, and now Schimel has left the company according to a published report on Tuesday.

Apple TV+ subscriber numbers remain a total mystery

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Tim Cook is keeping quiet about Apple TV+ subscriber numbers for now.
Tim Cook could open up on the success of Apple's various subscription services.
Photo: Apple

Apple just can’t stop touting its surging revenue from subscription services. But when it comes to Apple TV+ subscriber numbers, Cupertino is keeping suspiciously quiet.

“2019 was a historic year” for Apple’s services business, CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday during the company’s latest record-smashing earnings call. He then went on to drop specific numbers about services like the App Store and Apple Pay. But when it came to new services like Apple TV+, Cook kept things decidedly vague.

Cook loves to reiterate that Apple TV+ serves as a creative place for the world’s best storytellers. And the story he’s masterfully spinning about the streaming video service is a great big mystery.