If you know five other people — related or not, living under your roof or not — who also use Apple products, you can spend only $30/month to cover all six of you for six Apple subscription services (accessed with their individual Apple IDs). It’s a deal. The analysis for one person may not make sense but for SIX??? Any Apple user is already spending $5 a month on something.
What Is Apple One, and Should You Subscribe?
Going all-in with the services bundle could be a smart move, especially for families. We break down what’s included and how much it costs.
BIG TECH COMPANIES are always looking for new ways to tie us into their ecosystems. Apple One bundles several Apple services into a single monthly subscription that is cheaper than subscribing to the same services individually. If you already subscribe to the likes of Apple Fitness+ and News+, it’s a great deal for you. The question is whether it can entice anyone currently using a mix of first- and third-party services to switch completely to Apple and lock that walled garden gate.
Here we break down what Apple One includes, how much it costs, how to subscribe, and other details about the service in case you’re thinking of signing up.
What Does Apple One Include and How Much Is It?
Apple One comes in three tiers:
- Individual: For $15 per month, you get Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50 gigabytes of iCloud storage for one person.
- Family: For $20 per month, you get Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 200 GB of iCloud storage, plus you can share access with up to five other people.
- Premier: For $30 per month, you get Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, 2 terabytes of iCloud storage, News+, and Fitness+, plus you can share access with up to five other people.
How Much Can I Save?
Naturally, cost savings only apply if you’re subscribed to all of these services separately. If you only currently subscribe to Apple Music and nothing else, for example, then you’re not going to save money by switching to Apple One’s Individual plan. That said, compared to the usual pricing for the included services, the Individual plan saves you $6 per month, the Family plan saves you $8, and the Premier plan saves you $25.
Here’s how the prices break down:
- Apple Music: $10 per month for the individual plan, $17 for the family plan, and $5 for the student plan or voice plan.
- Apple TV+: $5 per month.
- Apple Arcade: $5 per month.
- Apple News+: $10 per month.
- Apple Fitness+: $5 per month or $80 for a year.
- iCloud+: $1 per month for 50 GB, $3 for 200 GB, and $10 for 2 TB.
It’s worth noting that Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade can always be shared with your family, whether you subscribe separately or with an individual Apple One plan. Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+ also support family sharing.
What About Free Trials and Existing Subscriptions?
You can get a one-month free trial of Apple One. If you are a new subscriber and have no existing subscriptions or free trials for any of these services, you get everything for free for one month and then start paying the monthly fee.
If you have existing subscriptions or free trials running, things get a little more complicated. If you already subscribe to some of the services in Apple One, those subscriptions will continue, and you will get the others for free for one month. At the end of the month, your current individual subscriptions will automatically cancel, and you will start paying the Apple One plan price for everything. [The authors have apparently not gone thru the process. Apple takes care of all the details without any action required from people signing up for Apple One. It’s truly brainless.]
What if you scored a free trial of Apple TV+ for three months, or you have six free months of Apple Music through an offer you redeemed? Unfortunately, Apple One will cut those free trials down to the standard one-month period, after which you will start to pay the Apple One plan price you chose. Note: You don’t get any free trial allowance back again if you cancel your Apple One plan. [My view is that you’re down to paying $5 a month for each of the six people for six services. That will more than compensate for a previous free period on just one of the services.]
Apple One Services
What exactly do some of these services offer? Here’s a closer look:
Apple Music is our second favorite and the audiophile pick in our Best Streaming Services guide because the entire library of more than 90 million songs is available in lossless format, and you get immersive 3D sound with albums tuned in Dolby Atmos. It has an excellent iPhone app and Siri support, but the Android app is just OK, and we’re not fans of the desktop app. Social playlist sharing and curation don’t quite match up to our favorite service, Spotify, but the gap is closing. If you want to switch from Spotify to Apple Music, you can also take your playlists.
With a focus on quality over quantity, Apple TV+ isn’t competing with the enormous libraries offered by Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu, and it deserves its place in our Best Streaming Services guide. It’s light on movies, though there are highlights, like The Tragedy of Macbeth, Wolfwalkers, and Finch. But the real appeal of Apple TV+ is hit shows like Ted Lasso and The Morning Show, and it boasts excellent music documentaries too. Everything is offered in 4K with HDR, and no, you don’t need an Apple TV to watch content in Apple TV+.
Closing in on three years since its release, the impact of Apple Arcade on mobile gaming is still unclear. What isn’t up for debate is the fact it offers some of the best mobile games around without ads or in-app purchases. There are more than 200 titles now, many of them exclusives. Some of our favorites include Mini Motorways, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Sneaky Sasquatch, Fantasian, and Assemble With Care.
Everyone gets 5 GB of storage space in iCloud for free, but that soon fills up with device backups, photos, and videos. You can upgrade to 50 GB, 200 GB, or 2 TB, and each option supports family sharing. There are several alternative cloud storage services that work well with Apple devices, but iCloud is tightly integrated. Aside from the extra space, another reason to upgrade iCloud is for HomeKit Secure Video. It allows HomeKit security cameras and video doorbells to record 10 days of activity, viewable in the Home app. The 50-GB plan supports a single camera, the 200-GB plan covers up to five cameras, and the 2-TB plan supports unlimited cameras. These HomeKit videos don’t count against your iCloud storage limit.
If you love to read great magazines like (ahem) WIRED, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, People, Vogue, Rolling Stone, and Popular Science, or newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, you can find them and many more, cover-to-cover, in the News app with an Apple News+ subscription. The service saves you from paywalls, features slick presentation, and offers curation based on your interests. On the downside, it doesn’t include everything—The New York Times and The Washington Post are famously unavailable. It also only works on Apple devices.
Workout subscription services grew popular at the start of the pandemic, as people could no longer visit the gym. Apple Fitness+ offers various workout types from yoga to strength training, audio-guided walks and runs, meditations, along with plenty of real-time metrics. It works via the Fitness app on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, and it requires an Apple Watch Series 3 or newer. You can read more about it in our review, but it has since expanded. (Apple adds around 30 new workouts and meditations every week.)
How to Subscribe to Apple One
If you are sold on Apple One, signing up on an Apple device is easy. Go to Settings, Account (tap on your name), Subscriptions, and you will see a Get Apple One option. That’s it!