A hands-on look at Apple Music and Apple Arcade

Apple is entering the content market in a big way, leveraging its famous walled garden app ecosystem to pivot from discrete content purchases to a subscription model.

It all started with Apple Music, but the first attempt at the subscription service is currently being joined by Apple Arcade and Apple TV+. This forms the three main pillars of Apple’s forward-looking business model.

While we wait for the Apple TV+ to prove its worth, it’s time to take a look at Apple’s other two subscription services and see if the juice is worth the squeeze.

Apple Music Bring to the groove (curated) ($10.00/month)

Apple has always been a pioneer in the digital music market. You could go as far as to say that the iPod and iTunes saved the music industry when it looked like the whole thing might fall apart.

So it’s no surprise that their first niche subscription service focuses on the amazing digital music infrastructure the company has built.

Apple Music essentials about Nirvana

Offers What?

A sizable music library built on the proven distribution platform that Apple is famous for. You pay a monthly fee that starts at $10 but also offers an affordable family plan and a cheap option for verified students.

Great, you can also use Apple Music on Android devices. It’s one of only two Android apps from Apple, the other being a utility to help you switch to your iPhone. Both the iOS and Android versions worked perfectly for us, but thanks to the variation of Android hardware, your mileage may vary.

Apple Music vs The Competition

There is a lot of competition for Apple Music. In the United States, Spotify and Pandora are noticed. Internationally, the biggest competitor is YouTube Music. Apple Music certainly has some downsides compared to other services.

Youtube Music window

It lacks the great technology behind Spotify and Pandora to analyze your music preferences and make great recommendations for new tunes to try. It also doesn’t have the huge number of artists and songs offered by YouTube Music. Plus, for just $12, YouTube Music includes YouTube Premium, with access to exclusive content and removal of all ads from the service.

Apple Music’s priorities, though, are a great interface, plenty of quality information about the music itself, and the best human manageability of any music streaming service. In particular, curated playlists exhibit an attention to detail that no other algorithm can currently match.

It’s a pity that many of the less mainstream artists we searched for were missing or had incomplete discos.

Is it worth the money spent?

On its own, Apple Music is worth the asking price. However, it is difficult to justify that specifically against YouTube Music. Even with a service that only listens to music from YouTube (which also costs $10), you get much more realistic music. On the other hand, YouTube Music is flooded with junk content.

So if you want a bespoke, white glove experience, Apple Music is the way to go. If you want the most for your money, it’s better to look elsewhere.

Apple Arcade Let Games Start ($4.99/month)

If you’ve upgraded to iOS13, you’ll find a new “Video Games” tab in the App Store. Tapping it will take you to a registration request. If you activate a subscription, you’ll have access to a set of games that can be downloaded to your device just like any other app and played offline, as long as your subscription is active.

It’s basically like Netflix, but for games.

Offers What?

Finally, more than 100 exclusive games. At least, exclusively for mobile phones and tablets. Some titles, such as Cat Quest II and Stranded Sails, are also available on consoles.

The library will be updated monthly, with more titles added. There is a great mix of different genres, styles and production values. The games are carefully curated by humans, so you won’t find any shovel tools here. In fact, Apple Arcade features some of the most creative, beautiful, and innovative games we’ve ever seen on any platform.

Apple Arcade also offers full gamepad support for games that make sense. That includes traditional MFi controllers and Sony DualShock 4 and Xbox One pads. Just make sure you get compatible versions of these major controllers. Some DS4 models don’t work, and only Windows-compatible Xbox controller models can play well with iOS devices.

Apple Arcade Window

All the Apple Arcade games we’ve tested with these gamepads are clearly developed with them in mind, and these extras turn your iPad, Apple TV, and iPhone into a gaming rig. fit.

Featured titles from the current selection include:

  • Oceanhorn 2
  • Cat Quest II
  • Pilgrims
  • Different day life
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens

We tested these games on an iPad Pro 9.7, and the large screen makes for a great experience. Some games may translate less well to iPhone, and you may want to invest in a gamepad phone holder to make it completely comfortable.

Apple Arcade vs The Competition

Google Play Pass Ads

Android users have the option of using Google Play Pass, which offers 350 games for the same price as Apple Arcade. The Play Pass is US-only at the time of writing and doesn’t have the exclusive curated game assortment that Apple Arcade offers.

There are a lot of great games and AAA ports make up a part of the product, but it affects the overall state of Android Mobile games. Even before Apple Arcade, iOS gamers had the best titles first, and often exclusively.

Is it worth the money spent?

Apple Arcade is probably one of the best deals in the gaming industry right now. Many of the titles included in the subscription cost $20 or more on platforms like the Nintendo Switch. For games with limited replay value, that makes Apple Arcade a much better solution.

As a mobile game offers, things are even better. Apple Arcade’s policy of only having premium games without any in-app purchases elevates it above the overall mobile game market, which is flooded with free-to-play titles. geared towards extracting money from your wallet rather than entertaining the experience.

So in summary, it’s hard to imagine a better way to spend five dollars on a month’s worth of entertainment!

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