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Apple TV+ with ads, MLS get a huge boost, & the 1st reviews for Apple Vision Pro are in!

Apple Vision Pro - the future?

Appleviews – 09th June 2023

The ads are coming

Apple TV+ is an ad-free premium streaming TV service – which is just what we’d expect from Apple.

Well, yes, but how long will they be able to stay true to their no-ads stance? I am sure that Apple will have been closely watching the goings on at Netflix over the past few months.

Whilst not comparing Apple with Netflix is not completely fair – Netflix, of course, purely survives on their streaming platform revenue, whereas Apple of course has plenty of other services to fall back on.

But, they will have a fine line to tread in making sure not to alienate existing Apple customers if they take the ad route. They know that if you find yourself watching Apple TV+ then you are more likely to take out a sub for Apple News and after that an Apple One bundle, Apple Music and so on. But beyond all that, there is one truism to focus on – Apple likes making money and is very good at it.

Netflix too had always sworn never to introduce an ad tier to their service, but already, within a few months, they are now making more from the cheaper ad-heavy service than their premium ad-free one.

With ads already being run on Major League Baseball, how long until we see the same coming to Apple TV+ and even Apple Music too?

Rolling the dice

Apple doesn’t do gaming, right? That’s the widely held belief certainly, but that could all be about to change largely because of one man.

If you made it through WWDC this week, you’ll have noticed that gaming god Hideo Kojima made an appearance in which he announced that Death Stranding Director’s Cut will be available on Mac this year and that other titles coming from his Kojima Productions stable will also come to Mac.

Kojima is as much famed for his productions as he is for being outspoken. He’s not known for platitudes, so if he says he’s squarely behind something, you can take it as read he means it.

Apple silicon has certainly started to change the fortunes of Apple and gaming. Their current array isn’t too bad, but importantly they’ll be needing to build on that with an eye to the future.

Having someone with a high profile such as Kojima can only be good news as hopefully, not only will the games flow but so to the allegiance of his faithful legion of fans – 1.2 million followers on Twitter is not to be sniffed at!

Couple all that good news with the fact that Apple Vision Pro is running an M2 chip – which should now mean that there are enough units out there to entice AAA game makers to come over to Mac as well, and the future for gaming on Mac looks pretty rosy.

Offside

As you may well recall Apple earlier this year secured the rights to Major League Soccer (MLS) in the States for the next decade.

This week Apple received one of the biggest boosts that could have dreamt of when World Cup winner Lionel Messi confirmed that he will be playing for Inter Miami in the MLS next year.

Acknowledged as the world’s best player, having him playing in the league can only be good news for Apple’s MLS $14.99 monthly Season Pass. As the news broke ESPN announced that Messi’s contract apparently includes a healthy cut of all new MLS subscribers.

Standby

I wrote yesterday that one of my highlights (other than the obvious!) of WWDC was the new Standby Feature coming in iOS 17.

During the keynote, it appeared that you had to have your phone in landscape orientation and be charging via MagSafe. But this week, beta testers have reported that it works if charging via a lightning cable too.

It seems that the only drawback is that if you use a cable to charge it won’t remember your chosen view and what widgets and apps you had on screen. Still, at least it gives you the option.

CarPlay

The days of that age-old argument about whose music or playlists should be listened to on a long car journey look like they are about to become a thing of the past.

Another new feature you can expect to find in the toy box in iOS 17 will affect those of you running CarPlay.

Although only one phone will be connected to the car, any passengers will now be able to connect to that phone via SharePlay. It will work with Apple Music from day one and I think Spotify too.

See this

As we saw Apple Vision for the first time on Monday, one of the first questions to come to mind was what happens if you wear glasses?

The design always meant that there would be no room for glasses inside Vision Pro as your eyes have to be as close as possible to the mini LED 4K OLED panels.

The answer has since come out – you’ll need to spend more money on top of the $3500 ticket price. If you wear prescription glasses you’ll need to send your prescription to Apple’s lens partner Zeiss who’ll make the correct optical inserts for you. The cost, although not confirmed, is expected to be between $300-$600 per pair.

Having the correct lenses is hugely important in getting the most out of Apple Vision as you need “to ensure visual fidelity and eye tracking accuracy”.

I’m guessing a cheaper option may be to wear contacts if that’s an option.

A perfect fit – not!

After the keynote speech on Monday, the press in attendance got to try out the Apple Vision headset for themselves.

The heavily controlled sessions which allowed for no cameras to be used were carried out under very strict, perfect conditions. The results have been all over YouTube this week.

There were a few caveats that the Apple team explained to members of the public & press who lined up to test them. There were limited lens & headband options available and also restricted light seals. All of this is important of course for both performance and comfort.

The Wall Streets Journal’s Joanna Stern, after her 30 minutes of wearing Apple’s ‘face computer’ as she calls the headset, posted a video of herself with a very red forehead.

“By the end of the demo, the top of my nose and forehead started to feel the weight.”

She also commented that the weight had started to become an issue and that she’d started to experience some nausea. In fairness, both of those could be down to the fit of her headset being less than optimal.

Apple Vision will go on sale, initially in the U.S. only from early next year.

Meow

Yesterday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke to his employees giving his response to the announcement of Apple’s Vision Pro.

Poker-faced he said that the Vision Pro has ”no magical solutions that we hadn’t thought of” and drew attention to the fact that Apple Vision Pro cost seven times as much as Meta’s base model.

Trying to make Meta appear as the company of the masses phrases such as “accessible and affordable to everyone” and “fundamentally social” littered his ten-minute presentation.

He summarised that Apple may have re-defined “the vision of the future of computing” but swiftly added that ”it’s not the one I want”.

Just a few days before WWDC, Meat previewed Quest 3 which will cost $499.

AirPods on airplane

There’s light at the end of the tunnel if you’ve always wanted to use your AirPods instead of the supplied, low-quality generic headsets that airlines provide for their in-flight entertainment – well, sort of.

United Airlines has announced that 300,000 units of Panasonic Avionics’ Astrova in-flight entertainment systems have been ordered for the new Boeing 787 and the Airbus A321XLR.

The downside is though, that the build of these aircraft won’t even begin until 2025 and that these planes are only for international routes. There are plans to roll these screens out to their domestic fleet too.

You’re blocked

Another feature being rolled out later this year in iOS 17 is one called Sensitive Content Warnings whose prime concern is to block messages or files that contain sensitive material or nudity.

The feature will work in Messages, AirDrop, the Phone app, FaceTime messages & the new Contact Posters. The default setting is to ban all nudity however a user can override it with the show button.

Sensitive Content Warnings will also work on third-party apps such as Telegram & WhatsApp.

One for the weekend

As I am all up to date with Apple TV+’s latest hit Platonic, today a new series starts its run.

The Crowded Room which is based on the book The Minds of Billy Milligan stars Tom Holland (Avengers & Superman) and Amanda Seyfried (Mama Mia).

The series is about Danny Sullivan (Holland) who is arrested for his alleged involvement in a 1979 shooting and the interviews he gives to investigator Rya Goodwin (Seyfried).

Three episodes of the edgy, mystery thriller are available today.

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