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Immediately after Apple publicly announced its acquisition of magazine subscription service Texture this morning, the company’s senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue took the stage at SXSW 2018 to discuss some of Apple’s upcoming content plans. Most notably, he addressed the company’s upcoming video service and the increasing importance of augmented reality (AR) to Apple.
On the video service, Cue noted that Apple — despite analyst conjecture — isn’t interested in buying great partners such as Netflix or Disney, since Apple prefers to buy small companies with ideas that will become the next big thing. Similarly, the company isn’t interested in offering its own YouTube-style short videos.
The focus for Apple will be on telling great stories with its video programming, which is why the company is committing to longer-form videos. Cue evoked the name of Apple’s late founder, Steve Jobs, who learned through Pixar how to tweak a story until it was great enough to be a hit on release. According to 9to5Mac, Cue teased that Apple will have “a technology angle that will be a ‘surprise’ to its service.”
A huge fan of basketball who has frequently been seen at Golden State Warriors games, Cue also said that a new sports feature will be coming to the TV app this week for March Madness, and that Apple thinks that it can make the sports experience “so much better” than it currently is.
Additionally, Cue discussed Apple’s AR initiatives, noting that “we think AR is a very mainstream product and something you’re going to use all the time, every day.” Cue mentioned a new PGA Tour AR golf app for iOS that enables any large table surface to hold a virtual golf course that can be moved around using your iPhone or iPad as a lens. He also noted practical applications for shopping apps, such as seeing the interior of a car or trying on clothing using AR before a purchase.
He also said that the company’s approach to AR is to let you see the world around you, and that relying on your device rather than goggles makes it easy and fast to overlap information on the real world. When asked about Apple’s plans for AR beyond the iPhone, Cue suggested that his job security depended on not talking about future products — apparently the video service doesn’t count — so he wouldn’t answer questions about them.
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