Apple Helps You Save Money, Pays More Fines, and Other Sightings from the Observation Deck

The Daily Observation Deck Feature

Spending and saving with Apple Card, $19 million will be fine for Brazil, and streaming titles in plastic form. All of that and more, from today’s Observation Deck sightings.

High-Yield Savings Option Coming for Apple Card Holders

Apple is expanding its Apple Card offering. A piece from TechCrunch says the company is partnering with the card’s backer, Goldman Sachs, to offer high-yield savings accounts for cardholders sometime “in the coming months.”

Folks will have two ways to add to their savings. The first will be the “Daily Cash” they’re already getting from card transactions. The card generates cash back payments of 1% to 3%, based on various requirements. The other way is just kicking in money. According to TechCrunch:

Apple says that customers will be able to deposit additional funds through a linked bank account or their Apple Cash balance. They can also withdraw this cash at any time, by transferring it back to that same linked bank account or Apple Cash card, without having to pay fees.

There will also be “no fees, no minimum deposits, and no minimum balance requirements” for the savings account, according to Apple’s press release on the program. As for how high the high-yield is — folks are going to have to wait to find out. Currently, TechCrunch says such accounts are offering annual percentage yields (APYs) of between 2.2% to 3.1%. That said, the program’s not starting for at least a couple of months, so who knows what “high-yield” will mean when it does? The TechCrunch piece has Apple indicating that “it’s not prepared to announce the APY due to the particularly dynamic interest rate environment at present.”

Brazil Fines Apple $19 Million for Selling iPhones Without Chargers

From saving money to forking it out — Brazil is looking for another $19 million from Apple. CNET says the South American country has fined the company that much for, once again, leaving chargers out of the box with the latest phones sold there. According to the piece:

The fine is a result of Apple appealing a Brazilian order banning it from selling iPhones without a charger in September, when it was originally fined (…) ($2.38 million) by the Brazilian Justice Ministry…

Apple has said (and “reportedly argued” to the court) that leaving the chargers out was part of its effort “to reduce carbon emissions.”

Apple Studio Displays Hit Refurbished Store

If you want an Apple Studio Display without paying the Studio Display price — get thee to Apple’s refurbished store. I’m not sure how I missed it, but MacRumors ran a piece Wednesday saying that Apple’s super screen had landed among the good-as-new offerings. Describing it, the site says:

The 27-inch Studio Display features a 5K resolution, 600 nits brightness, True Tone, Wide color support, and more. It is equipped with multiple ports and is compatible with modern Macs.

Checking Thursday night, I spotted four from which to choose: 

MacRumors says this is the first time these displays have made the refurbished store since their introduction in March of this year. Perhaps the biggest drag about the refurbished store — products come and go, likely depending on what’s been returned and rehabbed when. That said, the Apple displays are in the refurbished rotation.

Taylor Swift Taking Apple Fitness+ Artist Spotlight

She may not get the Super Bowl Halftime Show, but Taylor Swift and Apple are tying up on a pretty big promotional push. 9to5Mac says Swift’s music will be featured in a new round of music-focused workouts on Apple Fitness+. 

Well… music and fitness focused. 

In a post on Instagram, the Apple Fitness+ account said:

Get ready to sweat, Swifties. In our next Artist Spotlight, you will be able to work out to the tunes of @taylorswift, including tracks from her monumental new album Midnights. It’s time to #CloseYourRings and pre-add #TSMidnights on @applemusic now.

It being Instagram, there was an emphasis on the art. The post juxtaposed pictures of Swift from Midnights with pictures of Apple Fitness+ instructors striking similar poses. 

No word in the piece on when Swift’s Fitness+ Artist Spotlight will hit. The album Midnights is set to drop on 21 October.

Four Apple TV+ Series to See DVD/Blu-Ray Release in UK

If you like some of the shows on Apple TV+ but feel like they need to be in landfills someday, good news I guess. AppleInsider says four of the Cupertino-streamer’s series are getting DVD and Blu-ray releases, though they may not be for everyone. The repot says “Dazzler Media, a UK video distribution firm” will issue the first two seasons of For All Mankind, The Morning Show, See, and Truth Be Told over the next few months. 

Saying “they may not be for everyone” is not a comment on the quality or age-appropriateness. Rather, it has to do with the U.K. distributor. AppleInsider points out that:

DVDs are typically region-locked, though a manufacturer can elect to make them Region 0, which means they can be played anywhere. It’s a similar situation with Blu-ray discs…

So — who knows whether they’ll be playable where? Assuming they are playable in all parts, some will be available in time for the holidays. The release schedule, according to the report:

  • For All Mankind S1: Nov 28, S2: Dec 26
  • The Morning Show S1: Dec 5, S2: Jan 23
  • See S1: Oct 31, S2: Nov 14
  • Truth Be Told S1: Dec 5, S2: Feb 6

Or  — you know — $4.99-a-month. But, whatever. 

Apple TV+ Outs Trailer for Documentary ‘Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues’

And finally today, there’s a trailer out for the Apple TV+ documentary about jazz musician Louis Armstrong, and — personally — I can’t wait. Cult of Mac writes up both the trailer and other info on the documentary. According to Apple’s own description:

“Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues” offers an intimate and revealing look at the world-changing musician, presented through a lens of archival footage and never-before-heard home recordings and personal conversations. 

Apple goes on to say that the “definitive documentary”:

…shows how Armstrong’s own life spans the shift from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement, and how he became a lightning rod figure in that turbulent era.

Cult of Mac says the film “was made with the support of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation,” which is how they got the previously unseen goods. “That includes hundreds of hours of audio recordings, film footage, photographs, personal diaries and a lifetime’s worth of ephemera,” according to the report. 

 Once again, Apple appears to be eyeing the Oscar race. Cult of Mac says the film will hit select theaters on Friday 28 October. It’ll star its run on Apple TV+ on the same day. Between now and then, you can see the trailer on YouTube.

Check Out Our Daily Podcast for More On What We’ve Seen

Today on The Mac Observer’s Daily Observations Podcast: Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerberg has made some comments about Apple and the Metaverse that aren’t really worth reporting, but they are worth talking about. TMO Managing Editor Jeff Butts and I will do that. Plus — Lufthansa has finally chosen a direction on bag trackers, it seems. All of that and more on today’s Daily Observations Podcast from The Mac Observer.

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