Apple Announces New 10.2-inch iPad, Apple Watch Series 5, and More

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Apple’s annual product refresh has just wrapped up, and it was a big one. Apple announced new online services, and updated versions of several mobile devices. We’ve already got a full rundown of the new iPhone 11, but here’s everything else Apple announced including the new iPad, Apple Watch, and more. 

The new iPad

Apple’s fall event usually focuses on the iPhone and Apple Watch, but the company also squeezed in a new tablet: the 10.2-inch iPad (above). Surprisingly, this device keeps the physical home button and larger bezels than the current iPad Pro models. 

Apple is notoriously bad at providing details and specifications in events, so it’s unclear if the new iPad has a Lightning port, but that seems likely. The device will have a Smart Keyboard case and support for the first-gen Apple Pencil. The new one charges wirelessly on the iPad Pro, so it won’t work with this tablet. Inside, the new iPad has the A10 Fusion chip, which is just a bit less powerful than the A10X Fusion in the iPad Pros. 

This device will replace the current 9.7-inch entry-level iPad, which sold for $329. This tablet will cost the same, but education customers can get it for $299. It will sit between the iPad Mini and the iPad Air in Apple’s lineup. It’s also the first iPad made from 100 percent recycled aluminum. You can pre-order the new iPad today, and it will ship at the end of the month. 

In addition, Apple announced its redesigned iPadOS (above) will launch on Sept. 30. Original revealed earlier this year, iPadOS will add tons of new features to make Apple’s tablets feel more like a “real” computer. There’s a desktop version of Safari, a more power files app, and better multitasking. iPadOS will launch on the new 10.2-inch iPad, but it will come as an update to all iPads from the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, and fifth-gen iPad or later. 

Apple Watch Series 5

Apple might have been late to the wearables game, but the Apple Watch has effectively crushed the competition year after year. The Series 5 has the same measurements as the Series 4, but it adds an always-on display mode. So, you can see the time without lifting your wrist. This is one of the few features that the Apple Watch lacked compared with its competitors. 

Apple says the Series 5 watch has the same 18-hour battery life rating as the Series 4, and that’s with always-on mode activated. This substantial battery life improvement is apparently thanks to a new low-temperature polysilicon and oxide display and low-power display driver. 

This is also the first time Apple has offered an Apple Watch made from recycled material. You can get the device in recycled aluminum or titanium, in addition to the stainless steel and ceramic options carried over from the Series 5. 

The Series 5 starts at $399 for the standard model and $499 for LTE. They go on sale Sept. 20. The Series 3 will stick around at a lower $199 price, and the Series 4 is going away. 

TV and games

Everyone seems to be launching their own streaming service lately, and Apple is no different. Today’s event also included the final launch details for the company’s Apple+ streaming video platform. It’s launching on November 1st for just $4.99 per month. 

Apple TV+ focuses on original content like Jason Moma’s See and Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston’s The Morning Show. The catch, however, is that you’ll need an Apple device like the Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, or a Mac at launch. The Apple TV+ app will come later to Samsung TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and others. If you buy a new Apple device, it will come with a year trial of Apple TV+ as well. 

The event also included more information about Apple’s iOS game subscription service, known as Apple Arcade. The service launches on Sept. 19 worldwide and includes more than 100 games, all of them exclusive to iOS. It too will run you $4.99 per month. There will be no ads, and you can share a subscription with up to six family members. 

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Apple TV+ to launch November 1 for $4.99/month, one year free comes with select Apple devices – gpgmail

Apple today formally announced its launch plans for its new TV streaming service, Apple TV+, which will be available starting on November 1st, 2019 t and will cost just $4.99 per month for the whole family. The service will be available across Apple’s platforms in over 100 countries through the Apple TV app.

As an unexpected surprise, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that when buy an Apple device — including an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV — you’ll get a year of Apple TV+ for free.

According to Cook, only some of the shows will be available at launch. Others will be added every month.

A higher price point of $9.99 per month was previously reported by Bloomberg, which would have made Apple TV+ more expensive than rivals like the $6.99 per month Disney+, $5.99 per month Hulu (with ads), or the $8.99 per month single screen Netflix plan. It is, however, less expensive than Netflix’s $12.99 per month standard plan.

The $4.99 per month price undercuts all. And bundling a free year with new Apple hardware should boost sales as well.

Apple’s entry into the TV streaming market has been public for some time thanks to leaks and reports from Hollywood media news sites and announcements of programs from Apple itself. The company then officially introduced Apple TV+ this March at a special event focused on the company’s services and subscriptions.

The event brought out a cavalcade of stars to discuss their involvement in the new streaming platform, including Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, Reese Witherspoon, Jason Momoa, Alfre Woodard, Kumail Nanjiani, J.J. Abrams, Sara Bareilles, and even Big Bird.

Some of the more anticipated shows arriving include a morning show drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston; a Witherspoon-backed comedy based on Curtis Sittenfeld’s “You Think It, I’ll Say It;” a thriller called “Truth Be Told” starring Octavia Spencer; a revival of “Amazing Stories” exec-produced by Steven Spielberg; a new space drama “For All Mankind” from “Battlestar Galactica’s” creator Ronald D. Moore; a show from “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle; an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation;” original shows produced by Oprah Winfrey; a psychological thriller “Servant” produced by M. Night Shyamalan; an animated series called “Central Park” from “Bob’s Burgers” creator, and many others.

(Here’s a full list.)

Despite the numerous high-profile names attached, Apple’s service isn’t really a Netflix alternative. There’s not a big back catalog of licensed TV shows and movies, as you’d find elsewhere. Instead, the focus is on original content. If you want more, Apple TV Channels offers paid subscriptions to other premium services.

As Apple SVP Eddy Cue told attendees at SXSW 2018: “we’re not after quantity, we’re after quality.”

Services, like Apple Music, iCloud and AppleCare, have been a bigger focus for Apple in recent years, and may even become its most profitable sector, according to reports. As of its third-quarter earnings, Apple reported its services revenues, which include App Store fees, subscriptions, and other online services, had grown to $11.456 billion. At the same time, the iPhone made up less than half of Apple’s business.

The slowing iPhone sales have to do with the quality of the devices — even older models are still very good, and the improvements in new versions are not enough to prompt as frequent upgrades. To diversify, Apple has been focused on growing services revenues with launches like Apple News+, Apple Arcade, and now Apple TV+.

Apple is also clearly willing to spend in order to grow its media business further.

Last year, Apple had said it would spend around a billion dollars acquiring ten shows for the streaming TV service. But it later signed deals with Oprah, Steven Spielberg, and Sesame Workshop, which likely pushed that number much higher. A newer report from the Financial Times in August claimed the figure was now around $6 billion instead. 

What we don’t yet know is how well Apple’s investment will attract new subscribers in a market where there’s an increasing number of services offering premium, award-winning on-demand content, including Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and soon, Disney+.

The few trailers Apple has released so far have been fairly iffy — the first one of “The Morning Show” almost felt like a parody, while the latest, “Dickinson” seems to have turned the celebrated poet Emily Dickinson into a CW-style feminist punk rock hero.

Apple said the trailers had been watched over 100 million times.

At the event, it unveiled the trailer for the post-apocalyptic drama starring  Jason Momoa, “See,” which is Apple TV+’s take on Netflix’s “Bird Box,” apparently. It takes place in a world where all have gone blind.

As media critics finally get their hands on the shows for reviews, we’ll know more about whether Apple TV+ is worth the price.

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