My latest find is Apple One, a new bundled set of services for a single price for up to six people. What’s most useful is that the “Family” doesn’t need to be related or to live in the same household. Right now, for a monthly fee of $29.95, up to six people have access to Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, 2 terrabytes of iCloud storage, Apple News+ with its 300 plus magazines and newspapers, and (beginning December 14th) Fitness which works best with Apple Watch.
Apple One includes a lot more than those. By virtue of subscribing to Apple TV+, I was able to add Showtime (new Bryan Cranston limited series and more) and CBS All Access (Star Trek series) for $9.95 a month. Everyone else in my Family now has shared (free) access to those two streaming sources. You can also share other Family member’s subscriptions (if permitted by the app) to such items as Pandora Plus which removes ads from the music stream.
It is possible, but not required, to share your location with members of your family. That’s keyed to your iPhone so any other Family member also can, if you misplace your phone, tell your where it is. With hurricanes and huge fires dislocating hundreds of thousands of people, being able to see where the affected person is, even if they can’t use their phone, gives peace of mind.
Once you add Apple One for your Family, Apple stops billing Family members for their current subscriptions and gives them a prorated refund. The only sharing that requires an extra step is to get added into that 2 terrabytes of storage. Each Family member continues to access their own Apple Music, iCloud, or whatever with their own Apple ID. They just have free access to the services. There are separate types of accounts for adults and kids if that’s relevant to you.
The reviews of Apple One have, I think incorrectly, focused on whether an individual purchaser will save money. They might very well not. BUT even the Premier level of Apple One (at $29.95) is a 50 percent savings for group of six friends or family who own iPhones if they currently pay for is Apple Music (six times $9.95) — and most music lovers I know do subscribe as a savings over buying individual CDs.
Apple is obviously trying to lock its products’ users into the Apple universe by making it almost impossible to leave and is trying to tempt Apple One participants into trying other services. Nonetheless, this is a very good deal for any group of six that is currently paying for Apple Music.
I set up a Premier Apple One account for my Family for only $10 a month more than I was already paying for Apple Music and Apple News+ — and the Family members who were previously paying $10 a month for Apple Music has no future bills at all. My only suggestion would be that the most tech savvy of the Family set it up to pick the six Family members and make sure all the parts are moving properly. If you’d like to know more, go to Apple One in the Apple Support app.