Saturday, 31 October 2020 15:02

Apple launches Apple One subscription bundles with real benefits and savings: how to activate now Featured


Apple's all-in-one subscription bundles are now available, offering real savings for those who want Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, Apple News+ and the upcoming Apple Fitness+ at a better price than buying individually.

Over at Apple's site, you can learn more about Apple's new Apple One bundles, an all‑in‑one subscription that bundles up to six Apple services.

Services are a huge part of Apple's business, with Apple setting all time records for services in Q420, totalling US$14.08 billion, while Apple also reported posting record September quarterly revenue of US $64.7 billion.

There are criticisms Apple's iPhone revenue is "sharply down" at US$27.93 billion for the quarter down from US$33.4 billion a year ago, due to the delayed iPhone 12 launch, but with the iPhone 12 range offering 5G for the first time, it's never a surprise that the quarter before iPhones are launched sees slower sales due to people wanting to hold out for the latest and greatest, if they are able to - and Apple still sold US$27.93 billion worth of iPhones, which is probably more than the total sales of several of its Android competitors combined!

The new Apple bundles are set to see Apple's services earnings explode even higher, showing what an incredible ecosystem it has built, with noted Apple analyst Neil Cybart estimating "Apple surpassed the billionth iPhone user milestone last month" after 13 years of going on sale, and that of course does not include the zillions of Mac users, iPod touch users, iPad users, Apple Watch owners, and owners of Apple's AirPods and other accessories.

So, what are the details on the new Apple One bundles, and how can you activate one immediately should you so desire?

As Apple states in its marketing, these bundles are "the easiest way to get your favourite Apple services at one incredible price — and get even more enjoyment out of your Apple devices.

"Apple One includes the best services to keep you entertained and informed, as well as iCloud storage for your photos, files and more. Services include Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, Apple News+ and, coming later this year, Apple Fitness+".

The bundles are available in three sizes - Individual, Family and Premier, with Australian prices below - the US prices are lower, and prices vary in each country due to currency differences, so please visit your local Apple site for local details.

The Individual bundle is for one user, is $19.95 per month, which is a saving of $9.50 per month, and includes Apple Music, TV+, Arcade and 50GB of iCloud. However, there's an added bonus, which is that "Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade always include Family Sharing, even in the Apple One Individual plan".

The Family plan is $25.95 per month, a saving of $12.50 per month and is shareable with up to five other people in your family besides yourself, preserving the total of six maximum people in a family unit.

This has the same inclusions as the Individual plan, but ups the iCloud storage to 200GB.

The Premier plan is $39.95 per month, a saving of $39 per month, and includes everything in the previous two plans, but ups the iCloud storage to 2TB, adds Apple News+, and adds Apple Fitness+ which is "coming later this year".

I'm already paying $14.99 per month for my 2TB Apple iCloud plan and $17.99 per month for the family Apple Music plan, which is already A$32.98 per month, so to get Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ AND the new Apple Fitness+ for just $6.97 per month extra is an incredible bargain, especially with family access, and I have already upgraded this morning.

I now finally have access to Apple News+, which includes publications like The Australian and "hundreds of top magazines and newspapers", saving even more money.

And while Apple recently extended Apple TV+ subscriptions free of charge until February 2021, I now have it permanently.

As MacDailyNews notes: "The Apple One subscription option is currently rolling out to customers in over 100 countries and can be managed under a user’s Apple ID, iCloud, Media & Purchases 'Subscriptions' tab. Look for 'Get Apple One' and tap 'Try It Now'," which is how I activated my Premier subscription.

Apple TV+ and Ted Lasso

An excellent must-watch TV show of the absolutely highest, joyful quality is the totally unmissable Ted Lasso show. After first airing in August, the show was quickly confirmed for a Season 2, and in the last couple of days has also had its Season 3 ordered as well.

Ted Lasso is such a heart-warming genuine show, it brings a smile to your face and a tear to your eye. All across the Internet, it has been hailed as the antidote to the crazy year 2020 has been, and there's no gunshots, deaths, killings, blood or gore - it is family friendly viewing at its finest. 

It's a show I'm definitely going to watch again - it's that good!

Here's the official trailer:

Isaac Asimov's Foundation

Apple TV+ also has a stack of other TV shows and movies with more coming on a regular basis. One of the most anticipated shows that will arrive in 2021 is Apple's groundbreaking Foundation TV show, based on Isaac Asimov's seminal and groundbreaking Foundation trilogy of sci-fi novels, which has since grown into a dozen or more books that are absolutely epic in scope and which have influenced generations of sci-fi books, movies and TV shows since.

Once deemed impossible to bring to the small screen, and certainly impossible to bring to a two hour movie, the multi-episodic TV arcs we now enjoy today are the perfect way to bring this series to life, and it is easy to imagine that this show can continue for many seasons given the incredibly wide scope of the novels.

The series could easily encapsulate prequels and sequels, and there's even an unauthorised sequel called "Psychohistorical Crisis" by Donald Kingsbury that provides the sequel that Isaac Asimov himself said he was never able to write, and which many fans of the original Foundation Trilogy are probably unaware of.

The Foundation teaser trailer is absolutely incredible and has already generated incredible excitement for the show itself, and personally, I cannot wait for it to launch!

Production was sadly halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with any luck it has started again, and with the teaser trailer having launched on June 22, 2020, it's clear that Apple has spared no expense, with the show looking like an absolute winner.

So, what else does Apple have to say about its new Apple One bundles?

Well, over at the official Apple One page, Apple has the following added info:

Where do I find it, and how do I sign up?

"You have a few options. If you’re using an iPhone with iOS 14, an iPad with iPadOS 14, or a Mac with macOS Big Sur, tap or click here. You can also search for Apple One on your device or go to Settings > Account > Manage Subscriptions. And if it will save you money, we’ll automatically recommend an Apple One plan when you sign up for individual Apple services, based on the services you already have."

What does it cost?

"The Individual plan is A$19.95 per month, the Family plan is A$25.95 per month and the Premier plan is A$39.95 per month."

Which device and operating system do I need?

"Apple One services work across your Apple devices, including iPhone and iPod touch with iOS 14 or later, iPad with iPadOS 14 or later, Apple TV with tvOS 14 or later, and Mac with macOS Big Sur or later. If you subscribe through another device, you can still enjoy Apple One on any version of macOS earlier than macOS Big Sur. Apple Fitness+, included with the Apple One Premier plan, requires Apple Watch Series 3 or later."

How do I access my Apple One services?

"Once you subscribe, you can enjoy your Apple One services on any platform where the services are available, including the web (Apple Music and Apple TV+), selected smart TVs (Apple Music and Apple TV+), Apple Watch (Apple Fitness+), Android (Apple Music) or other third‑party streaming devices (Apple Music and Apple TV+)."

Do I get a free trial? And what does it include?

"Any services you haven’t already subscribed to are free for the first month of your Apple One subscription.* After the free trial, the plan automatically renews as a monthly subscription. There’s no commitment and you can cancel at any time."

What if I need more iCloud storage?

"You can purchase additional iCloud storage separately to supplement what’s included with your Apple One plan."

Can I share with my family?

"If you have the Apple One Family or Premier plan, you can use Family Sharing to share all included Apple services with up to five other family members. And Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade always include Family Sharing, even in the Apple One Individual plan."

Conclusion: what else is coming in 2020?

Apple CEO Tim Cook has also promised "a few more exciting things in store" for 2020 and while this is sure to include the new Apple Silicon-powered Macs, along with the long-awaited Apple AirTags, there are also new 2020 Intel-powered MacBooks that Apple has referred to in the new version of its Boot Camp 6.1.13 utility used to run Windows natively on a Mac.

Cook said: "Without giving away too much, I can tell you that this year has a few more exciting things in store", so if you thought Apple's year of 2020 launches were over, there's still more to come, with the new Apple Silicon-powered MacBook expected to arrive at a mid-November keynote event

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Now’s the Time for 400G Migration

The optical fibre community is anxiously awaiting the benefits that 400G capacity per wavelength will bring to existing and future fibre optic networks.

Nearly every business wants to leverage the latest in digital offerings to remain competitive in their respective markets and to provide support for fast and ever-increasing demands for data capacity. 400G is the answer.

Initial challenges are associated with supporting such project and upgrades to fulfil the promise of higher-capacity transport.

The foundation of optical networking infrastructure includes coherent optical transceivers and digital signal processing (DSP), mux/demux, ROADM, and optical amplifiers, all of which must be able to support 400G capacity.

With today’s proprietary power-hungry and high cost transceivers and DSP, how is migration to 400G networks going to be a viable option?

PacketLight's next-generation standardised solutions may be the answer. Click below to read the full article.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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