Published: Tue, March 26, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Apple to launch a surprise subscription service on March 25

Apple to launch a surprise subscription service on March 25

So yeah, it's basically a magazine app, which Apple had before it chose to let magazines have their own apps.

Texture was previously owned jointly by several publishers, but Apple acquired the company, its staff, and its technology for an undisclosed amount in March of 2018.

Apple also noted that a lot of the personalisation the service offers takes place on an iPhone or iPad, which means the providers of the mags and news content can't track you through what you're reading.

As presented on stage, the service closely resembles what Texture looked like before.

According to Apple, all the games on Apple Arcade will be available to play offline.

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Content from The New York Times and The Washington Post will be notably absent from Apple's paid service - at least at launch. Also, Apple has partnered with Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio to make Apple's new video streaming services available on their smart TVs. Advertisers have no way of tracking readers using Apple News, and its suggestions and recommendations are generated client-side, not server-side, with Apple claiming that it doesn't know what you read.

The New York Times, the largest USA newspaper by subscribers, is unlikely be part of Apple's news service. New games will be added "on a regular basis". Analysts believe it will be the technology company's first splashy launch event that will not feature new gadgets or hardware.

News+ was the only service at the show for which we received a price point: its monthly subscription will cost $9.99, and Apple was quick to tout the fact that individual subscriptions to the same number of magazines would cost thousands of dollars a year. However, you had to subscribe to each magazine or periodical separately.

The announcement also teased gameplay for several games. Apple Arcade is that path forward. For my money, one of the most interesting is Fantasian, which comes from Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy), whose team has created practical diorama settings that are then populated by computer-generated 3D characters; show me a few more innovative titles like that and I'll be much more likely to check out Apple Arcade this fall.

The service is launching in 150 countries around the world this Spring - and that includes Australia. It has been confirmed that Apple Arcade will stay exclusive to Apple products which really cements this as Apple's entry to try and stave off Google's Stadia that was recently announced.

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