Today at the Steve Jobs Theater, Apple detailed a variety of services it plans to launch from now through the end of the year. In addition to the expected services for video, news, and an iOS-integrated credit card, perhaps the event's biggest surprise was Apple Arcade, a gaming subscription service debuting this fall. Apple Arcade will feature no games currently on the App Store, but will instead serve as the only way you can play 100+ new games on iOS.
Every time Apple holds a keynote event, a host of interesting numbers are shared related to the products announced. Although today's event at the Steve Jobs Theater was unique in many ways, with no hardware announced and a focus entirely on new services, there were still plenty of metrics announced, which we've rounded up below.
Today at the Steve Jobs Theater, Apple held an event like no other in highlighting its new services in a variety of areas like TV, news, games, and even personal finance. There were no hardware announcements, but it was a fun event in its own right.
If you didn't manage to catch the livestream of the keynote, Apple has now published the video in its entirety on its website.
Today during Apple's "It's Show Time" event, the company took the wraps off its long-brewing new efforts in the realm of TV. There was a sneak peek at Apple's own video streaming service launching this fall, Apple TV+, as well as a newly redesigned TV app that's coming in May, and a new component being added to that app alongside the redesign: Channels.
Today following its event at the Steve Jobs Theater, Apple released the latest major update for iPhones and iPads: iOS 12.2. This version of iOS launches Apple's just-debuted subscription service for News, includes support for enhanced AirPlay 2 controls on compatible TV devices, plus it brings four new Animoji, and more.
One strength of an analog notebook is its simplicity. The times in my life when I've used a notebook regularly, I would always keep a pen attached to the notebook so that the process of writing involved just two simple steps: open the cover, and press pen to paper. Many digital notebook apps forfeit this simplicity due to overly complex interfaces and toolsets.
Moleskine's new app, Flow, is a digital notebook that understands what it takes to succeed as a notebook replacement – giving you the tools to customize your experience to your own preferences. It's available on both iPad and iPhone, and offers an elegant balance of convenience and flexibility that make it my favorite digital notebook to date.
In celebration of Garageband's 15th anniversary this year, Rolling Stone was granted special access to the studio where Apple's music apps come to life. If I had one major takeaway from the article, it would be that the amount of thought and effort Apple's team expends in Garageband's development is remarkable. Rolling Stone's Amy Wang writes:
In the first media visit Apple has ever allowed to its under-the-radar Music Apps studio, the team of engineers showed Rolling Stone how the creation process for Garageband’s two types of sounds — synthetic and “real” — can span weeks or sometimes months per instrument, with new hurdles at every turn. Synthesized sounds (i.e. the type of obviously artificial notes often heard in EDM) are made from code and tweaked by code; “real” sounds have to be recorded in a drop-dead-silent studio setting, dozens of times, then pieced together like patchwork to form single perfect notes, one by one.
Some instruments are extra excruciating. In the digital reproduction of an American upright bass, a player in the studio plucks a string, holds his breath for seven seconds to ensure there’s no extra noise on the recording whatsoever as the note shivers into the air (engineers have custom-coded an app to time the duration precisely), and repeats the endeavor at different finger positions, volumes and pressures, day in and day out. After wheeling each of the cavalcade of instruments out of the studio, the team pores over the hundreds of recordings to pick out the best. When adding a suite of East Asian instruments in a recent product update, the engineers consulted with designers across the world to pick out the specific color of wood and font of a poem that would make a Chinese guzheng appear the most authentic. Engineers also constantly browse music-making forums for complaints, suggestions and thoughts on what to tweak next.
Garageband's continued development over such a long period of time is a testament to music's importance to Apple, a point that's reinforced several times in the full article.
Besides highlighting the work that goes into making Garageband a better tool for creators, one other interesting tidbit from the article involves Apple's future direction for the app:
“Without getting into specifics, I think machine learning — as in, systems and software that will enable more ability to help anticipate what someone wants to do — will be of value,” [Phil] Schiller says about what’s in the works.
Perhaps before the year's out we'll see the fruits of Apple's efforts to apply machine learning to music creation.