You only need to listen to the way Apple executives talk and take a look at its website to know that services are very important to the company. Apple makes a lot of money from those services and Tim Cook has successfully steered it away from being a company reliant on iPhone sales to one that now has a huge cash cow to help prop it up. With iPhone, services, and wearables, Apple has three huge businesses inside one company. But which of those services is most important to you?
Is it Apple Music? The music streaming service has millions of songs for you to listen to, after all. The recent release of lossless music and Spatial Audio has taken things to a new level, too. Apple Music is a worthy competitor to Spotify.
Or is it Apple TV+? Priced at just $4.99 per month you could argue that Apple's streaming video service is one of the biggest bargains in tech — and it's only getting better.
What about iCloud Drive? Once the poor relation to options like Dropbox and Google Drive, iCloud Drive is built into the very core of macOS and iOS nowadays and works so well most people probably forget it's there. But it is, and it's doing its thing just fine. It's perhaps the best Mac syncing solution for most people.
Then there's the newcomer — Fitness+. Whether you're following along with some running exercises or cooling down with some mindfulness techniques, Apple Fitness+ is a great way for people to keep fit and follow along with an instructor without ever leaving their home.
There are more, too. iCloud itself has all kinds of mini-services like Calendar, Mail, Photos, and more. All of those little things are actually big things — they're just housed under an even bigger big thing that goes by the name iCloud. Any one of those could be important to you — and bundled together, they're invaluable.
I couldn't live without Apple One. Yes, I know that's a bundle of services rather than a single service and yes, I'm aware it could be considered cheating. But this is my game so I make the rules. I also have an explanation.
I just reeled off a list of Apple services and it wasn't even a full list, either. They're all pretty great when used in isolation, but they really start to shine when they're all under one umbrella, working together. That umbrella is Apple One, a single subscription that includes Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple Fitness+, Apple News+, and iCloud Storage all together as one. Sure, there are different tiers available but it's when you throw yourself into the ecosystem and take everything that the magic really starts to happen.
Now, yes. This is arguably the very definition of platform lock-in and there are probably antitrust lawyers among you already sharpening your pitchforks. In truth, you probably have a point. But lock-in is only a problem when you want out. I don't want out and so long the services keep working and improving, I don't imagine wanting out any time soon, either.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.