What you need to know about Apple’s new streaming service

Steve Carell Reese Witherspoon Jennifer Aniston

Apple announced Apple TV Plus, the tech giant's much-awaited streaming service which features original content from Hollywood heavyweights like Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa and will launch this fall.

Apple today unveiled a new Apple TV app.

"This is how TV should work", said Apple's Peter Stern.

In addition to Apple TV+, Apple also announced a redesigned TV app with a new Apple Channels section for iOS. "If it doesn't have that "wow" factor, that's going to be a problem for Apple". With Apple TV channels, subscribers will be able to pay for the premium networks they want, such as HBO, Showtime and Starz. It's free to read Global News content and to add the channel to your list of favourite news sources. The company will be releasing the app across a variety of platforms and Samsung smart TVs will be the first to get it. The company said, "The Apple TV app personalises what viewers love to watch across their existing apps and services while developing a secure and comprehensive understanding of users' viewing interests". The service won't allow streaming play, but is more like a subscription service for games that can be downloaded from the App Store.

The streaming apps include Amazon Prime and Hulu, as well as pay-TV services such as Canal+, Charter Spectrum, DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue. Optimum and Suddenlink will be integrated later this year.

Although it's not launching until this fall, Apple Arcade already has a lot of game companies onboard big and small, including Disney, SEGA, and many more. You won't need an Apple device to subscribe.

A physical version of the card is also to be launched for use in locations where Apple Pay is not accepted.

Apple is also rumoured to be rebooting Steven Spielberg's fantasy and sci-fi series from the 1980s, Amazing Stories, which features independent self-contained episodes.

Now the company already has Hearst and Condé Nast onboard, with newspaper titles including the Los Angeles Times and the Toronto Star also announced. There will be no ads or ad tracking, and no additional purchases necessary aside from the cost of the subscription itself. In some cases, Apple will also fund these exclusive games. A sizzle reel of flashy games appeared at today's Apple event, and it largely focused on indie games that haven't yet launched on either traditional or mobile platforms yet.

Speaking to Reuters, the CEO of the New York Times, Mark Thompson, warned publishers about the danger of losing control of their own product ahead of the Apple launch, and said he had no plans to now work with the tech giant. With a $1 billion investment in content, Apple's new "software" service is anything but. His hope is that we won't view immigrants as "The Other".

As well, Apple says the card will help customers keep better track of their spending (purchases are automatically organised into categories like food and entertainment) while protecting privacy (Apple says it's put security in place so it won't know where or what you purchased, and there's no card number or signature on the physical card).

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