Maccast 2019.03.25 - Apple's It's Showtime Event
Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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Apple made some early hardware updates in advance of their event
New iMac lineup with Intel's latest 8th-gen and 9th-gen Core processors
They also now offer Radeon Pro Vega graphics upgrades in both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch form factors
Unfortunately no T2 security chip, likely due to the less expensive models coming with spinning or Fusion Drives.
Pricing remains the same starting at $1,299 for the new 21.5-inch 4K iMac models starting at $1,799 for the new 27-inch 5K iMac models.
iMac Pro now has two more custom configuration options, including up to 256GB of RAM and a new Vega 64X GPU option.
You can now max out an iMac Pro with 18-core 2.3GHz processor with a max speed of 4.3GHz, 256 gigabytes of RAM, 4 terabytes of flash storage, and the Vega 64X at $15,699 USD
Apple also slightly lowered some of Flash upgrade pricing for their Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models. Only slightly, $100 to $200 depending on the model.
Wireless charging case, a new H1 chip, hands-free Hey Siri.
One hour more talk time, but listening time remains the same.
Faster switching between devices
$199 w/ Wireless charging case, $159 with charging case. You can buy a Wireless Charging case for $79.00
Still no AirPower, though the Wall Street Journal says Apple "approved production" earlier this year.
Apple's "It's Showtime" event
My first impressions
Overall very excited about everything Apple announced.
Only about 20 percent of what was announced is actually ready.
Apple and Hollywood are awkward together
We've seen these moments before, with Bono. Remember the finger touching?
A bit too many presenters.
Likely that developer demos were handled by videos.
Was about 30 minutes longer than it needed to be.
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Apple claims 5B articles are read on Apple News each month making it the number one news App.
Over 300 magazines to start
Apple talked a lot about design and showed off some cool examples from National Geographic
A little smoke and mirrors vs reality.
Most stuff I'm seeing is a single tall column even on desktop (phone layout only)
PDF magazines, SUCK, looking at you cNet
Live covers were cool. Hope more publications adopt them.
Apple News+ has a new tab in the news App. Not sure that's always the best idea.
Can download for offline reading
Have the LA Times and Wall Street Journal
WSJ detailed some of their terms with Apple.
App only has 3 days worth of the WSJ Archive and the WSJ can drop out of the service.
Apple says they will pass 10B in Apple Pay transactions this year
Also noted that Apple Pay is accepted at 70% of US retailers, good, but much lower than in many other parts of the world. Australia has 99 percent retailer acceptance.
Apple is creating their own credit card in conjunction with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard
Focus is on Simplicity, transparency, and privacy.
Will be able sign up and get approval on your iPhone in minutes. Adds the card to your wallet.
Card numbers are generated per device and stored in the phones's Secure Element on the device.
Can use it anywhere Apple Pay is accepted.
Will help you keep track of your spending
Shows transaction details in the Wallet with "real" store names powered by Apple Maps and on device AI
You can see how much you spend and where and will break it down by category
View to show you clearly how much interest you're paying and how you can pay it down.
Will let you schedule payments weekly or biweekly to help pay down debt more quickly
Apple doesn't see or collect that data. Spending is tracked, calculated and analyzed on device.
Goldman Sacs will not share or sell spending data to 3rd parties for marketing or advertising
Daily Cash, cash back added to your Apple Pay Cash card daily
2% on purchased made with Apple Pay, 3% on purchases made to Apple and Apple Services, 1% on physical card transactions
There is a physical card
Titanium and laser etched.
Has no card number, expiration date, CVV, or signature on the card (in the Wallet app)
Apple touted that the card will have "one of the lowest interest rates" in the industry and also has no fees, hidden or otherwise
The no fees thing appears to be true.
The interest rate? Well, yes it does start below the 14 percent average right now at around 13.25 percent, but it goes up to 24.25 percent. So, not "low"
Will be available in the US this Summer.
I was surprised, but this may be the ting I'm most excited about?
Tim Cook pointed out that iOS is the largest gaming platform in the world, by devices I don't doubt it.
There are currently 300,00 games on the App Store.
Apple is building a service for "casual" gamers, the rest of us.
Yes there does look like some more "a-list" style titles, but I don't think this is at all a hard core gamer play and that is the right move.
Will start with 100+ titles for one monthly price
These are all you can play with now ads or in-app purchases. Full games.
Titles will be exclusive and not on any other platform or streaming service
Apple is working with developers on the platform and even partially funding the development of some titles.
New tab in the App Store
Download to play offline
Fully cross device, iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV
Games will sync and you can pickup where you left off
Parents can control access using ScreenTime and comes with Family Sharing
Apple says the service is coming in the Fall of 2019, but didn't provide any pricing
They will launch the service in more than 150 countries and regions.
Apple TV App updates
Apple TV Channels
Subscribe to premium channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz in the TV App
Watch without leaving the TV App.
TV app redesigned
Other then some new tabs and larger imagery, didn't look all that different
Redesigned tabs for Movies, TV Shows, Sports, Kids and Library
Adds auto-play movie trailers (honestly I'm not a big fan)
TV App coming to SmartTVs staring with Samsung. Also LG, Sony, and Visio
Will also have Apple TV on Amazon Fire TV and Roku
New TV app is coming in May
TV+ Service was introduced by Jamie Ehrlicht and Zack Van Amburg
That great intro video I mentioned earlier followed by Steven Spielberg talking about Amazing Stories
Followed by several awkward pauses and various celebrities talking about their shows coming to the services
No clips, just talking.
Amazing talent like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Steve Spielberg, Jason Momoa, Kumail Nanjiani, and Oprah
highlights for me where Amazing Stories, See (Jason Mamoa) seemed interesting, Little America (Kumail Nanjiani), and the Sesame Workshop show that teaches coding concepts to pre-schoolers, "Helpsters"
Apple stressed the focus on quality storytelling and supporting amazing creators
Paid streaming service. Pricing was not announced.
Apple TV+ will launch this Fall in over 100 countries
Apple quietly re-branded the Apple TV 4th Gen to the Apple TV HD (better name).
Overall a great set of announcements
Disappointing that most of it isn't available yet and for many won't be for a long time.
Not sure I like this new "pre-announce" trend. Guess it's one way to avoid leaks?
It's going to get expensive if it's all ala carte.
$9.99 US News, $9.99 US Arcade, $9.99 Apple TV+, Apple Music $14.99, iCloud $9.99 (2TB), - $55/mo. add HBO and Hulu and it's up to bout $70 USD (still less than cable I guess?)
Support for the new Apple News+ subscription service
Also brings Apple News to Canada in french and English
New Animoji. Giraffe, Shark, Boar, and Owl
Redesigned TV remote in Control Center
At&T users get the misleading "5G E" icon
Apple Pay announcement
Kim wrote in to say two things stood out for her regarding the Apple Pay announcement
1. The poor penetration into US merchants (70%) versus the rest of the countries with Apple Pay available. (Australia: 99%! Wow!) Apple needs to do something about this.
2. In particular: Restaurants. They still TAKE YOUR CARD AWAY to ring you up.
She feels it's time for this to change in the US and I agree.
Some places are starting to let you pay at the table, but it's few and far between.
Oh and also signatures and PINs with Apple Pay. Coma on!
My guess is the PIN is because merchants don't want to process debit cards and credit, avoids the fees
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