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Apple Released a New Subscription Service

Apple's new subscription bundle Apple One began rolling out to Apple users a couple of weeks ago, and could save you money by tying together different combinations of the tech giant's services, including Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, storage service iCloud and the newly unveiled Apple Fitness Plus. At the very least, the new offering is designed to entice you with a tidy package of Apple's top services.

The introduction of Apple One is another move toward deepening Apple's services business, which looks to earn regular subscription income from owners of its hardware, such as the iPhone and iPad. 

You'll now be able to choose from three different plans and prices that range from $15 to $30 a month: Individual, Family or Premier. Which one is right for you depends on exactly how many of these services you already pay for and how interested you are in the ones you don't. 

Apple One's base-tier Individual plan includes four services that only one person can access: Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade and 50 gigabytes of iCloud storage. If you were already paying for all of these services separately, subscribing to the Apple One plan saves you $6 a month.  The Family plan includes the same four services and the Individual plan, but with more storage: Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade and 200GB of iCloud storage. You can share all of these services between up to six people, however. It's a savings of $8 a month over separate subscriptions.  Even though it's a shared plan, all users sign in with their own Apple ID, so everyone has private access to each service, and gets personalized recommendations.  How much it costs per month: $20 Free trial: 30 days The Apple One Premier plan is the most generous by far, thanks in large part to the large amount of iCloud storage space offered. Under this plan, you'll get six services to share with up to six people: Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus, Apple Fitness Plus and 2 terabytes of iCloud storage. (Note that Apple News Plus and Apple Fitness Plus are not available in every country -- at launch, Apple One Premier is limited to the US, the UK, Australia and Canada.) Subscribing through Apple One would save you $25 a month compared to subscribing to each service individually.  Like the Family plan, all users sign in with their own Apple IDs, and get private access and personalized recommendations from each service.  How much it costs per month: $30 Free trial: 30 days

How To Choose Which Apple One Plan Is Best For You

If you already subscribe to at least a couple of Apple's services, switching to Apple One could potentially save you some money or get you some extra services for the same price. Bundling the services together could also make them easier to keep track of. You only have to pay one monthly price instead of a bunch of different ones. It is aimed at getting you into Apple's growing subscription ecosystem and keeping you from leaving. 

Apple Music Family Plan subscribers may stand to benefit the most. If you're already paying $15 a month, you might as well also wrap in Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, and some iCloud storage for the same price (though you'd be cutting down to an Individual plan instead of a Family plan). There have also been rumors that Apple Music subscribers may get a free upgrade to Apple One, but that hasn't been confirmed by Apple yet.

The biggest issue I see is that the amount of iCloud storage space offered in the Individual and Family plans isn't enough for anyone who stores lots of photos, videos or documents, or backs up their phone frequently. A better plan would include a baseline of 250GB of storage, bumping up to 1TB for a family, and 2TB for premier. While you can pay to add on extra iCloud storage to the two lower-tier plans, the way they're set up now seems to be pushing people to go for Premier.

Whichever Apple services you use, if you have an Apple device, it will be worth checking out the 30-day free trial of Apple One, to try out all of the options you haven't already and see if it's worth it. Just make sure you cancel before the 30 days are up if you aren't planning to subscribe. If you do subscribe, you can cancel any time.

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