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Apple’s ‘It’s Showtime’ event details new services, including games, TV, and … a credit card?

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Apple, yet again, has made a major splash with its foray into new subscription services. As expected, the tech giant announced its much-hyped streaming platform, with a range of original programming from major names like Steven Spielberg.

What came as a surprise to many viewers, however, was the other announcements Apple made, including a completely revamped news service, a subscription gaming platform and a credit card service, of all things.

Yes, this is for real!

We’ll be going over this new frontier for Apple along with all of the other major upgrades that will be rolling out to your devices in the coming months.

A new streaming service with AppleTV+

As expected, Apple has rolled out a new streaming service with baked-in original content called Apple TV+, set to make its debut this fall. This service will be available on the new TV app, which is planned to roll out to all supported Apple devices, including the existing Apple TV.

Major figures such as Stephen Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Oprah Winfrey are set to provide new shows and movies for the service. This is in addition to a range of exclusive TV channels now available on demand, including content from Starz, History Channel, Nickelodeon and more. No price has been announced.

Apple’s unlimited game play platform

Apple has taken a cue from video game console makers and released its own subscription service for unlimited game play. Apple Arcade, scheduled for a fall release, is bringing over 100 exclusive titles from both independent and major developers like Sega.

A big plus with the new service is the ability to game across your different devices. You can start playing Sonic the Hedgehog on your phone while you’re on the bus, sit down in your living room and pick up on your TV right where you left off. These games are bringing powerful graphics that compete with existing video game consoles, so it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be top of the food chain now that Apple has entered the picture for real.

Apple’s subscription news

In a major update to the existing News app that’s on all of our devices, Apple has revealed the new Apple News+ service. Unlike before, where the News app simply curated stories from around the web, Apple News+ aims to replicate the experience of a traditional newsstand in digital form.

For $9.99 a month, Apple News+ brings unlimited access to content from more than 300 magazines and newspapers. These digital issues contain beautiful details straight out of Harry Potter, with animated covers and photo inserts. What’s more, the digital articles are formatted specifically for iPhone, fixing common issues such as load time and image resolution. This is no small effort either, with big names such as Time, Vanity Fair and NatGeo all taking part.

Unlike the other services, this one is ready for you to sink your teeth into today. All you need to do is update your iOS 12 to the latest version and you’ll be able to visit Tim Cook’s “virtual newsstand” for yourself.

Apple’s new credit card

In a move that nobody saw coming, Apple announced its entry into the world of finance with Apple Card. After speaking about his desire for a better credit card, CEO Tim Cook announced the sleek looking titanium card that pairs seamlessly with Apple Pay, the payment service built into your iPhone and Apple Watch.

Apple has partnered with Goldman Sachs to provide support as the issuing bank for the new card. Once approved, cardholders receive a gorgeous laser-etched card with no number or signature. This card is paired with Apple Pay, which calculates purchases as you make them. This function utilizes Google Maps to bring you detailed statements with handy visuals that make calculating your exact balance easier than ever.

Tim Cook spoke on about his desire for better cardholder rewards, and the Apple Card fully delivers on this promise. Cardholders get 2% cash back on all purchases made using your device’s Apple Pay feature, with 3% cash back on purchases made with Apple, including at Apple Stores and the App Store. Best of all, these rewards are paid daily, with an allowance of cash credited each day to your Apple Wallet for you to use right away.

Between services, subscriptions, content creators and credit cards, Apple’s event was a bigger surprise than many had expected. Although we’re still holding out hope for new product releases in the near future (where are you AirPower?!), we’re looking forward to jumping in on the newest Apple services and seeing how they make our Apple devices even more useful and fun.

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