By John Gruber
Shortcut is project management for software teams. Try it for free.
Apple Card: Sounds good, but “low interest rate” is just words. I’d like to see the actual numbers. Kind of interesting that you get 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchases and only 1% when you use the actual card. Update: Footnote 4 on the Apple Card web page says: “Variable APRs range from 13.24% to 24.24% based on creditworthiness. Rates as of March 2019.” What a crock of shit this “low interest rates” line is. Those interest rates are usury, right in line with the rest of the credit card industry. 24% interest ought to be criminal, and 13% is not “low”.
Apple News Plus: Are magazines still a thing? Didn’t Apple go down this same path with Newsstand back when the iPad first launched? What’s the point of doing “magazines” if the articles you see in the News app are pulled from various publications? $10/month is good, but keep in mind that you don’t get the full Wall Street Journal at that price.
Apple Arcade: This was the most cohesive announcement of the day. Easy to understand what it is, why you’d want it, and what the value proposition is. It looks like Apple is spending a fortune funding these exclusive games. I think this is going to be a big hit, and it makes Google’s “we’ve got games running on our servers” thing from last week look a bit silly. Most interesting to me is how much Apple emphasized the Mac and Apple TV. But why not tell us the price?
Apple TV Channels and TV Plus: This whole thing was… weird. I get what Channels is — the infamous “skinny bundle” that Eddy Cue has been trying to put together for years. Paying only for the channels you want is the right way to do this, but obviously a nightmare to negotiate with the actual networks and channels. It’s also coming to Roku and Amazon FireTV, which I understand but feels so strange.
The whole TV Plus segment felt like a presentation from another company, like Google or Amazon, not Apple. Apple does a good job keeping events moving along, and they tend not to parade a long series of people on stage. This was a parade of a bunch of A-list celebrities — Spielberg! Oprah! — but it just went on and on. It should have been as tight as the Apple Arcade segment. It feels like Apple was starstruck. And why weren’t there trailers for these TV shows? Why don’t we know what this is going to cost yet? We started the day with a lot of unanswered questions about Apple’s original content strategy and we’re ending the day with most of those questions still unanswered.