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Apple Spending $6 Billion on Original Content for Apple TV+ [Update: Launch Coming in Nov., Price Could Be $9.99/Month]

Apple has spent over $6 billion for original TV shows and movies for its upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service, set to launch later this year.

Apple originally set a budget of $1 billion for Apple TV+ execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who head up the project, but according to a source that spoke to The Financial Times, that budget has now grown to more than $6 billion.


Hundreds of millions of dollars alone have been spent on "The Morning Show," one of the most high-profile shows that will be a part of Apple TV+. "The Morning Show" stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell. Previous rumors have suggested that Aniston and Witherspoon earn $1.15 million per episode alone.


The cost for "The Morning Show" has apparently exceeded the $15 million per episode that HBO spent on the final season of "Game of Thrones."

Previous rumors have suggested that Apple is spending similar amounts on "See," an upcoming futuristic drama where much of the world's population has been wiped out by a virus, and the rest of the population is blind. "See," which stars Jason Momoa, is said to have a budget of $15 million per episode.


At $6 billion, Apple's spending doesn't quite match the $15 billion that Netflix is expected to shell out in 2019, but Apple is rumored to be offering more generous payment terms to help it win deals for appealing content. Apple is paying out earlier in the production process, "once certain milestones are hit."

Apple has said that its upcoming Apple TV+ series is set to launch in the fall, and the source that spoke to The Financial Times says Apple is aiming to launch it "within the next two months" to pre-empt the November 12 launch of Disney Plus.

There's no word yet on pricing for Apple TV+, nor details on which shows will be ready, but several have finished filming and appear to be in the final stages of production.

Apple has dozens of TV shows and movies in the works for Apple TV+, with a full list of everything that's known to be in development available in our Apple TV+ content guide.

Update: A separate report from Bloomberg suggests Apple is considering charging $9.99 per month for the service, which will include a free trial.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is aiming to launch Apple TV+ in November, and is still deciding how shows will be released. Apple is considering releasing three episodes of TV shows at once followed by weekly installments.

"The Morning Show," "See," "Amazing Stories" and "Truth Be Told" are said to be some of the first shows that will be available at launch, with Apple planning to continue to release content on a regular basis going forward.

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Apple Celebrating National Parks in August With Donations, Apple Watch Challenge, Apple Music Collections and More

Apple today announced that it is celebrating America's national parks in August ahead of the 103rd anniversary of the US National Park Service, introducing new parks-related content to encourage park attendance.

"The beauty in our parks is obvious to all observers but their most profound contribution is to our spirit," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We are proud to support them."
As announced over the weekend, from August 17 to August 25, Apple is making a $10 donation to the National Park Foundation for each purchase made with Apple Pay at an Apple Store, Apple.com, or the Apple Store app in the United States.


Apple says that its donations will help support programs across the United States designed to help connect young people who wouldn't otherwise have the means with "transformative park experiences" ranging from classroom field trips to immersive multi-day experiences and multi-week service corps for young adults.

During August, Apple is also encouraging people to explore their national parks through several special collections coming to Apple's services.

In the Apple TV app, there's a collection of park-related content such as "Free Solo," and the Smithsonian's "National Parks Exploration Series," while Apple Music has a new "Nature Awaits" playlist inspired by the "extraordinary beauty of the country's parks."


Apple Podcasts will feature a collection of shows focused on national parks, and Apple Books will feature an "Our National Parks" themed collection guiding readers through notable parks in the United States. The App Store will also highlight essential apps to help users plan for their next national park visit.


Apple on August 25 will challenge Apple Watch owners to participate in a walk, run, hike, or wheelchair workout of at least three miles to earn an activity award and animated stickers inspired by Grand Canyon National Park's 100th anniversary.

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Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of macOS Catalina to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Apple today seeded the sixth beta of macOS 10.15 Catalina for testing purposes, more than two weeks after seeding the fifth macOS Catalina beta and over a month after the new Mac operating system update was first unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

The new macOS Catalina beta can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences. As with all new betas, macOS Catalina should not be installed on a primary machine because it is early release software and has bugs.


macOS Catalina eliminates the iTunes app, splitting it into Music, Podcasts, and TV apps. The Apple Music and Apple Podcasts apps are available now, while the Apple TV app is coming later this year.

The three new apps offer similar functionality to iTunes, but are split up by feature. iOS device management is still available on the Mac, but it's now done through the Finder rather than iTunes.

With a new Sidecar feature, you can turn your iPad into a second display for your Mac with just the click of a button. The Apple Pencil works with Sidecar, so you can turn your iPad into a drawing tablet in apps like Photoshop and Illustrator.

Your Apple Watch can be used to approve security prompts for passwords and other info in macOS Catalina, and Macs with a T2 chip now support Activation Lock, making them more secure. There's a new Find My that brings the Find My Mac app to the Mac for the first time and even lets you track your devices when they're offline, or, in the case of notebooks, closed.

Screen Time is available on the Mac as well as iOS devices, and Project Catalyst, a new Apple initiative, will let developers easily port their iPad apps over to the Mac to increase the number of Mac apps available.

There's a new Photos interface that surfaces your best photos organized by day, month, or year, there's a new start page in Safari, Mail has new tools for muting email threads and blocking senders, and the Reminders app has been overhauled. 32-bit apps no longer work in macOS Catalina, which is something to be aware of before installing the beta.

For more details on macOS Catalina, make sure to check out our macOS Catalina roundup.

Update: Apple has also made a new public beta of macOS Catalina available to public beta testers.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina
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Powerbeats Pro in Ivory, Moss, and Navy Available for Pre-order on August 22

Apple plans to start selling Powerbeats Pro in Ivory, Moss, and Navy starting starting on August 22 at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time from the online Apple Store.

After orders for the new colors open on August 22, Apple plans to ship the headphones out on August 30, the same day the Powerbeats Pro will be available in retail stores.


Apple started selling Powerbeats Pro in May after introducing them in April, but only the black color was available at launch. Apple said that it would make the other colors available at a later date.


Powerbeats Pro are a wire-free version of Apple's popular fitness-oriented Powerbeats earbuds. Like the AirPods, Powerbeats Pro feature a dedicated charging case that offers 24 hours of battery life and an H1 chip for fast connectivity to your devices, device switching, and Hey Siri support.


Apple's Powerbeats Pro are priced at $249.95 in the United States. For more on the Powerbeats Pro features, make sure to check out our guide.

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Apple to Charge $4.99 Per Month for Apple Arcade

Apple is going to charge $4.99 per month, according to details about the service discovered by 9to5Mac. Screenshots of an early Apple Arcade test were found over the weekend, and now prospective pricing has also been leaked.

The $4.99 price point is apparently listed in one of the APIs used in the App Store app. A promotional message says that Apple Arcade will cost $4.99 per month, with one-month free trial available.


Apple previously said that the monthly subscription price for Apple Arcade will provide access to all members of the family who participate in Family Sharing, which means that up to six people will be able to play games for the $4.99 fee.

$4.99 per month is very affordable for a subscription service that provides access to dozens of games. Apple has said there will be somewhere around 100 games available at launch, with no ads or additional in-app purchases.

Apple hasn't officially announced Apple Arcade pricing, so the price could be changed ahead of when it becomes available. Apple Arcade games will be available on iOS devices, Macs, and the Apple TV.

There's no word just yet on when Apple Arcade will launch, but an ongoing employee internal test is set to end when iOS 13 launches, so that could be when Apple plans on rolling out the service.

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Apple Accidentally Unpatches Vulnerability, Leading to New iOS 12.4 Jailbreak

Apple in iOS 12.4 mistakenly unpatched a vulnerability that was fixed in the iOS 12.3 update, leading to a new jailbreak available for iOS 12.4 devices, reports Motherboard.

Hackers discovered the vulnerability over the weekend and Pwn20wnd created a publicly available, free jailbreak that works on devices running the latest version of iOS or any version of iOS below iOS 12.3.


Most jailbreak code is kept private to keep Apple from patching it, so this is the first time that a public jailbreak has been available in a while. It was apparently discovered when a user tested an older jailbreak on iOS 12.4 and found the patch had been reverted.

Security researcher Jonathan Levin told Motherboard that the accidental vulnerability also once again makes iPhone users vulnerable to a "100+ day exploit," referring to how long the bug has been around.

Ned Williamson from Google Project Zero said that the bug could be exploited to install spyware on a target iPhone.
The researcher told Motherboard that "somebody could make a perfect spyware" taking advantage of Apple's mistake. For example, he said, a malicious app could include an exploit for this bug that allows it to escape the usual iOS sandbox--a mechanism that prevents apps from reaching data of other apps or the system--and steal user data.

Another scenario is a hacker including the exploit in a malicious webpage, and pairing it with a browser exploit, according to the researcher.
A third security researcher, Stefan Esser said that people should be careful what apps they download from the App Store right now. "Any such app could have a copy of the jailbreak in it," he wrote on Twitter.

Multiple users have confirmed that the jailbreak works and that their devices have been jailbroken using the new software. Apple has not commented on how or why the vulnerability was unpatched, but the company will likely have a fix available soon.

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Apple Shares First Full Trailer For 'The Morning Show'

After posting a brief teaser last week, Apple today shared the first official trailer for "The Morning Show" starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell.

The trailer provides the first glimpse at each character on the show, which centers around a struggle for power behind the scenes of a network news show.


Aniston plays one of the anchors of The Morning Show, while Carell plays a former anchor who was fired following accusations made against him on the show. The trailer also reveals that Witherspoon will play a reporter who begins rising up the ranks, potentially threatening Aniston's job.

"The Morning Show" will launch this fall on Apple TV+, but Apple hasn't yet provided a release date for its new streaming service. There are quite a few other shows that will be coming out on the platform, all of which we've rounded up here.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12, tvOS 13
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)
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Apple Has 500 Employees in Korea, Supports 325,000 Jobs in Country

Apple today revealed job creation figures in South Korea for the first time since entering the country two decades ago, as noted by The Korea Herald.


In a new page on its website, Apple says it has created and supports 325,000 jobs in South Korea, including 500 direct employees, 125,000 jobs through partners in the country like component manufacturers and product distributors, and 200,000 jobs through the App Store ecosystem.

Apple's direct employees in the country include designers, customer service representatives, marketing specialists, hardware and software engineers, and retail staff at its Garosugil store in Seoul.

Apple adds that Korean developers have earned 4.7 trillion won in worldwide revenue through the App Store since 2008.

Last week, Apple claimed that it now supports 2.4 million jobs in the United States.

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Trump Says Tim Cook Made 'Good Case' That Tariffs Would Put Apple at Disadvantage With Rivals Like Samsung

Apple CEO Tim Cook and U.S. President Donald Trump met for dinner on Friday evening, and Trump has since told reporters that the two discussed the impact of U.S. tariffs on Apple products imported from China.

Melania Trump, Donald Trump, and Tim Cook in August 2018

Trump said Cook "made a good case" that tariffs could put Apple at a disadvantage given that rival Samsung's products would be less impacted by the tariffs, according to Reuters. "I thought he made a very compelling argument, so I'm thinking about it," Trump said, speaking at an airport in Morristown, New Jersey.

The U.S. plans to impose an additional 10 percent tariff on approximately $300 billion of Chinese imports on September 1, but last week it delayed the tariff to December 15 for products including the iPhone, iPad, and MacBooks. Other products like the Apple Watch, AirPods, and HomePod are still set to be impacted September 1.

In a letter to the Trump administration in June, Apple urged against the tariffs, claiming that they would reduce the company's contribution to the U.S. economy and weigh on its global competitiveness.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Apple Employees Testing Apple Arcade Ahead of Launch

Apple Arcade, Apple's upcoming subscription-based gaming service, was first introduced in March and is set to launch this fall.

Ahead of the upcoming launch, Apple has debuted an early access program for its employees, with screenshots and details shared by 9to5Mac this morning. Apple employees are able to access Apple Arcade for $0.49 per month, with a one month free trial available.


Apple Arcade games will be available on the Mac, iOS App Store, and Apple TV, with the screenshots shared today sourced from the Mac App Store. The Apple Arcade tab in Apple's App Stores will feature a selection of highlighted games and different game categories.

Many of the games in development for Apple Arcade have been previously announced, but here are a few Apple is highlighting, along with their descriptions:
Way of the Turtle: "Play as two curious turtles lost on a cursed island in the middle of nowhere. Obtain shells containing special powers such as dash and attack to defeat enemies and overcome different challenges."

Down in Bermuda: "Adventurous aviator Milton left his loving wife and daughter to voyage across the Atlantic on the journey of a lifetime."

Hot Lava: "Hot Lava transports you back to your childhood imagination. Relive those moments of excitement, joy and chaos. Run, jump, climb and surf in first person across nostalgia-packed environments flooded with hot molten lava."
According to 9to5Mac, most of the games right now are still in-development builds, and other titles available to employees include "Sneaky Sasquatch", "Kings of the Castle", "Frogger in Toy Town" and "Lame Game 2."


Apple hasn't shared details on what Apple Arcade will be priced at when it debuts, but it looks like there may be a one-month free trial available for those who would like to try it out.

Apple has said there will be somewhere around 100 games at launch, with no ads and no additional in-app purchases. A single subscription will also allow for up to six family members to access games.

There's no word on when Apple Arcade will launch, but the internal employee test is set to end when iOS 13 launches, so that could potentially be when Apple Arcade will be made available.

For more on Apple Arcade, make sure to check out our Apple Arcade guide.

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New Ceramic and Titanium Apple Watch Models Uncovered in watchOS 6 Beta

New leaked assets from the watchOS 6 beta suggest Apple plans to launch new ceramic and titanium Apple Watch models as early as next month.


Discovered by iHelpBR, the assets belong to the initial Apple Watch setup screen animation, which resembles the rear design of the watch including the model type and the words "Designed by Apple in California."

The firmware assets clearly reference a 44mm titanium case and a 44mm ceramic case. iHelpBR has also found analogous assets for the 40mm size Apple Watch model.

Back in February, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted Apple would introduce a "new ceramic casing design" to its Apple Watch line-up, and these assets do appear to back up that claim.

Apple introduced "Edition" models with the Apple Watch Series 2 that were made from ceramic. Prices started at $1,299, which it continued offering when the Series 3 Apple Watches came out, but Apple discontinued the Edition models when the Series 4 launched last year.

Current Apple Watch models do have a ceramic back, but the assets indicate Apple will revisit a new high end ceramic model in 2019. And it looks like we can also expect an entirely new titanium model – a material perhaps currently in favor at Apple following work on its just-released titanium Apple Card.

Apple Watch Series 2 ceramic model in white

It's not clear if the titanium casing will replace stainless steel or become an additional option. Another unanswered question is whether these materials will be exclusive to a new Apple Watch Series 5, or also be offered as extra case material options for existing models.

According to the latest prediction from Kuo, Japan Display will supply the OLED displays for new Apple Watch Series 5 models slated to launch in the second half of 2019. Beyond that, we know very little about what to expect about the Series 5.

Apple is expected to unveil its new iPhone lineup on September 10, so it's likely these Apple Watch models will be unveiled during the same event.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
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App Developers Claim Apple's iOS 13 Location Tracking Changes Are Anti-Competitive

Apple in iOS 13 made changes to the way location tracking permissions work, and there's no longer an option for apps to ask to "Always Allow" location tracking.

Instead, Apple allows users to select "Allow While Using the App," "Allow Once," or "Don't Allow," which some app creators have taken offense to. The leaders of seven companies that make apps for iOS devices banded together to write an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook to speak out about the changes, with the details shared by The Information.

There's no longer an "Always Allow" option on privacy popups in iOS 13 for enabling permanent location access

The companies that wrote to Cook are upset that there's no longer a readily available "Always Allow" option. Users can still turn on "Always Allow" in the Privacy section of the Settings app, but it's not available by default and requires additional steps.

As an example, Zenly, a location tracking app owned by Snap, needs to have location tracking on permanently to function. Since there's no option to turn on "Always Allow," Zenly has to have a clunky secondary display screen that instructs users to open up the Privacy settings on their iPhones to change the location setting. This makes consumers more aware of apps that are tracking them continually, but it is an extra step that app developers must contend with.

Apps that want continual location data must instruct customers to enable it in the Settings app

According to the companies who wrote to Cook, the changes could potentially lead users to think their apps are broken unless they're "savvy enough" tweak Privacy settings. These are the companies whose leaders wrote to Cook about the privacy changes:
  • Tile - Makes tracking devices for wallets, keys, and other objects.
  • Arity - A company owned by Allstate that developers technology for measuring driver risk.
  • Life360 - An app for sharing location with family and friends.
  • Zenly - A location sharing app owned by Snap.
  • Zendrive - A company that makes driver assessment apps.
  • Twenty - A social networking app for finding friends nearby.
  • Happn - A dating app.
The app creators suggested Apple create a two-step process that would let users grant apps access to locations as a solution, but it's not clear if Apple has plans to implement changes.

The companies were also concerned about changes Apple is making to a VoIP feature designed to let apps run in the background to listen for calls, but that was being abused for other tracking purposes. Apple doesn't plan to let developers use Apple's PushKit API for anything beyond voice calls in iOS 13.

While the companies admit that apps used this feature for tracking user location and for gathering data, they claim the change will hurt important app features. As an example, Life360 reportedly uses the feature to access a user's location to dispatch emergency services when a customer is involved in a car accident.

The email ends by pointing out that Apple's own apps do not need to get user permission to access user location, such as for Find My, which is built into the iPhone as a way to keep track of iOS and macOS devices.
"Like you, we are committed to ensuring that privacy is a top priority, but are concerned that the current implementation will create user confusion that actually undermines this goal," the e-mail to Cook reads. "The changes also have the added effect of removing critical geolocation functionality while simultaneously not applying to Apple's own apps, some of which compete with the products we develop."
In response to questions about the email, an Apple spokesperson told The Information that Apple's goal is to make the App Store a safe, trusted source for apps and to give its users the best products and ecosystem in the world.
We take responsibility for ensuring that apps are held to a high standard for privacy, security and content because nothing is more important than maintaining the trust of our users. Users trust Apple--and that trust is critical to how we operate a fair, competitive store for developer app distribution. Any changes we make to hardware, software or system level apps is in service to the user, their privacy and providing them the best products and ecosystem in the world.
In addition, Apple said that it is working with some of the companies that signed the email to find alternative methods for features that are being obsoleted, such as background tracking for purposes other than voice calls.

Apple also says that while system apps like Find My don't need to make location tracking requests from users, some Apple apps distributed through the App Store will abide by Apple's processes for requesting user permission to access location information. The full report with additional details can be read over at The Information.

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