In response to the continued coronavirus outbreak, Apple and Goldman Sachs are allowing customers to skip their Apple Card payments without incurring interest charges. Apple Card holders should receive an email announcing this “Customer Assistance Program,” which has been extended through August.
Update #1 4/1: Apple and Goldman Sachs are also now allowing Apple Card customers to defer their April payment without penalty.
Update #2 5/1: Apple and Goldman Sachs are now allowing customers to skip their May payments as well.
Update #3 6/1: Apple and Goldman Sachs have once again announced an extension of the Apple Card Customer Assistance Program, allowing users to skip their June payments without penalty.
Update #4 7/1: The Apple Card Customer Assistance Program has been extended to July, allowing you to skip your July payment without penalty.
Update #5 8/2: Apple and Goldman Sachs have extended the Apple Card Customer Assistance Program through August. This allows you to skip your August payment without interest. Notably, this comes as the United States government struggles to implement another stimulus package amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
If you previously enrolled in the Customer Assistance Program, you will need to enroll again.
Apple Card customers can skip their March payment without incurring interest charges through the Customer Assistance Program. The email explains:
We understand that the rapidly-evolving COVID-19 situation poses unique challenges for everyone and some customers may have difficulty making their monthly payments. Apple Card is committed to helping you lead a healthier financial life.
Should you need assistance, please click here to be connected to Apple Card support via Messages and enroll in our Customer Assistance Program, which will allow you to skip your March payment without incurring interest charges.
The key here appears to be that you have to contact Apple Card support in order to join the Customer Assistance Program. That seemingly means that if you simply skip your March payment without contacting support, you’ll still be charged interest as usual.
This Apple Card announcement follows Apple’s decision to close all of its retail stores outside of China through March 27, effective immediately. Apple also said that it has donated $15 million to the global COVID-19 response and it is also matching employee donations two-to-one to support the effort.
Can police demand you unlock your phone if they want to examine it for evidence? Courts in different states have given different answers to this question, but New Jersey’s Supreme Court has ruled that the answer is yes. The court decided that a suspect can be forced to use his passcode to unlock his phone.
Despite the ruling coming from the state’s Supreme Court, however, that may not be the final, definitive answer …
ArsTechnica reports that the court rejected a 5th Amendment claim, that a suspect cannot be compelled to incriminate himself by using his passcode.
This case focuses on an allegedly corrupt cop named Robert Andrews. Andrews is a former Essex County Sheriff who allegedly tipped off a suspect named Quincy Lowery about a pending police investigation. Under police questioning, Lowery testified that Andrews had advised him to get a new phone to avoid a police wiretap. He also said Andrews helped Lowery identify an undercover police officer and an unmarked police vehicle. These allegations were corroborated by data from Lowery’s phone.
The police seized two iPhones belonging to Andrews, but investigators were unable to unlock them. Andrews refused to unlock the phones based on the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination.
On Monday, the New Jersey Supreme Court rejected that Fifth Amendment claim.
However, the ruling suggests that the sheriff’s lawyer may simply have used the wrong argument.
The New Jersey Supreme Court points out that there’s a different constitutional provision that’s supposed to protect the privacy of people’s private data. That’s the Fourth Amendment, which protects “papers” against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The New Jersey Supreme Court argues that focusing on the phone’s contents, rather than on the production of the passcode itself, “imports Fourth Amendment privacy principles into a Fifth Amendment inquiry.” If the police are engaging in improper fishing expeditions, the way to deal with that is by challenging the search warrant on Fourth Amendment grounds.
In other words, the court didn’t accept this violated the suspect’s 5th Amendment rights, but it may well have ruled it violated his 4th Amendment rights had his lawyer made that argument. Since he didn’t, no ruling on that point was required.
We’ve seen different rulings on this in different states, in some cases deciding that protections which apply to passcodes don’t apply to biometric unlocking using either Touch ID or Face ID.
There have so far been inconsistent rulings on this issue in different states. Back in 2014, a Virginia court ruled that phone passcodes are protected by the 5th Amendment (though fingerprints aren’t). In 2016, a Florida court disagreed, ruling that a suspect must reveal his passcode. In 2017, a suspect was jailed for refusing to hand over his iPhone passcode.
There have also been inconsistent rulings when it comes to Touch ID and Face ID. Several court rulings have decided that a fingerprint is the equivalent of a safe key, and police are free to use a suspect’s fingerprint to unlock the device. However, a California court last year disagreed, saying that this was not permitted even with a warrant.
As ArsTechnica says, this whole mess is really crying out for a US Supreme Court ruling to provide consistency across the country. Then when police demand you unlock your iPhone, you’ll know whether or not they have a right to do so.
With the COVID pandemic impacting production on pretty much all Hollywood projects, the second season release dates of Apple’s flagship shows (The Morning Show, For All Mankind, See, Servant, etcetera) have been pushed into 2021. To help plug the gap, Apple TV+ has acquired two Israeli series which it will stream exclusively.
The first of these co-productions is called ‘Tehran’, a spy thriller from Moshe Zonder, the creator of popular Netflix series ‘Fauda’.
Tehran will be Apple TV+’s first non English content, with the majority of dialogue spoken in Hebrew and Farsi. The show will be available worldwide on Apple TV+ with English subtitles. The first three episodes will debut on September 25, with the remaining five episodes of the first season released weekly every Friday. The series has already aired in full in Israel, with generally positive reviews. Apple is rumored to have already commissioned a second season.
Another Israeli pickup for Apple TV+ is a psychological thriller called ‘Losing Alice’. This is expected to stream on Apple TV+ sometime this year but a firm release date is yet to be announced.
These international distribution pickups help bolster Apple’s content slate as it waits for TV and movie production to resume.
Apple TV+ offers exclusive Apple original TV shows and movies in 4K HDR quality. You can watch across all of your screens and pick up where you left off on any device. Apple TV+ costs $4.99 per month. Here’s every Apple original television show and movie available now on Apple TV+, as well as the latest trailers …
Apple TV+ content is available exclusively through the Apple TV app. You can watch on your Apple TV set-top box, iPhone, or iPad as you might expect.
Apple TV+ offers original comedies, dramas, thrillers, documentaries, and kids shows. However, unlike most other streaming services, Apple TV+ does not include a back catalog of any kind.
For your $4.99/month subscription, you can watch all of Apple’s originals — as listed below. You can download to watch offline too. Apple is adding new content every single month.
How to watch the free Apple TV+ shows
The TV app is the exclusive destination for Apple TV+, but the TV app is confusing because it blends together purchasable TV shows and movies from the iTunes Store, which you can buy or rent, the integration of content from other apps like Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer, and Apple TV Channels.
The Watch Now screen does not really distinguish between content that you own and can watch, and just Apple’s general recommendations. Hopefully, the TV app interface will be revamped soon with better features and easier navigation.
But for the time being, the easiest way to get started with Apple TV+ is to open the TV app, go to the Watch Now tab, and then scroll down until you find the circular Apple TV+ channel icon. You may have to scroll down a lot, and the position of this icon on the page changes periodically.
However, once you locate it, tap that and you will be taken to the Apple TV+ channel page. This shows you all of the Apple TV+ shows and movies available to watch, separated by category like comedy, drama or family fun.
Note that tv.apple.com is very stripped down compared to the native TV app on devices, and it only shows Apple original content. Both the website and the Mac TV app lack key features like the ability to skip intro or automatic next episode suggestions when you finish an episode.
What Apple TV+ shows have been renewed for second seasons?
The first batch of Apple TV+ shows were released on November 1st. As Apple is trying to quickly grow its content library, many of these shows were renewed for second seasons before they even premiered.
So far, Apple has officially renewed Central Park, Dickinson, For All Mankind, Home Before Dark, Little America, Mythic Quest, See, Servant, The Morning Show, Truth Be Told, and Trying.
What is less certain is when we will be able to watch the new episodes. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted TV production globally with all projects currently unable to film. To quote some specific examples, The Morning Show was about 60% done filming season 2 when they had to halt production, Servant was filming episode 4 of 10 of its second season instalment, and For All Mankind has about one month left of filming. (Dickinson completed season 2 filming last year, and is currently in post-production.)
It is believed these shows were originally planning to release their second seasons about a year after season one, around the October/November/December timeframe. That release date seems less likely now given the delays. It is possible Apple resorts to split seasons; releasing season two of its flagships in two halves, in order to at least get some episodes out this year.
Apple TV+ Program Guide (updated Aug 12, 2020):
Apple’s next comedy series debuts August 14, featuring Jason Sudeikis as a rather ill-informed football coach.
A fascinating insight into the machinations of party politics, Boys State debuts on August 10.
The Oprah Conversation is the reincarnation of Oprah’s iconic talk show format. The interview format explores deep topics affeecting the world. In the opening episode, Oprah explores racism in culture, in conversation with Emmanuel Acho.
A short-form documentary series covering some of the greatest stories in sports. The show features sporting legends including LeBron James, Tom Brady, Alex Morgan, Usain Bolt, Katie Ledecky and more, as they discuss the critical moments that defined their careers.
A documentary inspired by the Apple ad campaign ‘Dear’. The series finds people who have written letters to their heroes, expands on their stories and shows how everyone can be inspired. Famous faces featured include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Spike Lee.
Central Park is an animated series from the creator of Bob’s Burgers. With a cast that includes Josh Gad, Kristen Bell and Tituss Burgess, the story revolves around a family of caretakers trying to save the city’s green space from being converted into a shopping mall. The show is an animated musical comedy, with 3-4 original songs per episode.
Defending Jacob tells the story of a legal attorney whose teenage son has been accused of murder, based off the best-selling book of the same name. The story culminates with an epic twist that you can’t predict. The limited series stars Chris Evans, Jaeden Martell, and Michelle Dockery.
Apple reboots the classic Fraggle Rock puppet show with a new series of shorts that show how friendship can bind us all. Amidst coronavirus lockdown measures, ‘Fraggle Rock: Rock On’ is recorded in the homes of the production team, shot on iPhone 11.
As everyone self-isolates, Oprah Winfrey hosts video conversations with noted doctors, scientists, recovering COVID-19 patients, and the health workers on the front line fighting this pandemic. Every episode is free to watch, no TV+ subscription required.
A remake of the 1980’s classic sci-fi show, the Amazing Stories anthology series is produced by Steven Spielberg. Each episode follows a different tale in a completely different setting. With a family-friendly age rating, the series aims to appeal to parents and children alike.
Watch Trailer • Released February 14 • 1 season, 5 episodes • TV-14
Described as a five-part documentary series, Visible looks at the portrayal and development of LGBTQ characters on television. It also examines the consequences of coming out in the television industry and how attitudes have evolved, albeit slowly.
Little America is a half-hour anthology series that explores amazing tales of immigrants in America, spanning the gamut of human emotion and experience. Each episode is based on a true story from the Epic Magazine feature of the same name.
Watch Trailer • Released November 28, 2019 • 1 season, 10 episodes • TV-MA
A psychological thriller produced by M. Night Shyamalan, told in 30-minute chunks. The family suffers the death of their baby at 13-weeks, and get a substitute baby doll as a kind of therapy. The grief-stricken mother becomes so attached to the doll she hires a mysterious nanny to care for it.
Watch Trailer • Released November 1, 2019 • 1 season, 8 episodes • TV-MA
A post-apocalyptic adventure set 600 years in the future. The remaining population of Earth are all blind. A war breaks out as sighted twins are born into a tribe, and the queen of the lands fears the mythic twins will threaten her rule. Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard stars.
A drama exploring the power dynamics in the world of morning news broadcasts. The story opens with anchor Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) facing sexual misconduct allegations. Newcomer Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) aspires to replace Kessler in the prime-time slot, and clashes with longtime host Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston).
Watch Trailer • Released November 1, 2019 • 1 season, 13 episodes • TV-Y
An educational children’s live-action puppet series starring Cody and the Helpsters, from the makers of Sesame Street. The show teaches the fundamentals of problem solving and coding through the lens of activities like party planning, climbing a mountain, and magic tricks.
A reboot of the classic children’s show of the same name, Ghostwriter follows the adventures of four kids in a haunted bookstore. The ghost brings classics of literature to life, and the kids must solve the mysteries that they entail.
Watch Trailer • Released November 1, 2019 • 1 season, 10 episodes • TV-MA
For All Mankind explores what could have happened if the Russians got to the Moon first in 1969. This inspires the US government to continue the space race. The show forges an alternate timeline of NASA with the first season covering the 1969-1974 period.
Watch Trailer • Released November 1, 2019 • 1 season, 10 episodes • TV-MA
In a modern interpretation of Emily Dickinson’s life, Hailee Steinfeld stars as the misunderstood American poet in her coming-of-age story. Dickinson blends classical themes and carefully-crafted set pieces with anachronistic language and flair, personifications of Death, among other twists.
A cinematic World War II naval thriller starring Tom Hanks. Hanks play Krause, a commander on his maiden voyage to escort a convoy of merchant Allied ships across the North Atlantic. The film follows their quest as they face the German submarines trying to stop them in their tracks.
A documentary about the father relationship in a family. The 80-minute movie starts with interviews with famous faces but pivots into an exploration of how fathers in ordinary families are dealing with the many stresses of life.
The Beastie Boys Story takes a personal look at the band’s highs and lows over the last 40 years. The documentary is narrated by band members Mike Diamond and Adam Horvitz, in an intimate live theater setting, and directed by the award-winning Spike Jonze.
An animated short film that follows a young boy learning about wonders of nature, in celebration of Earth Day. The story is based on the best-selling book by Oliver Jeffers. The film is narrated by Meryl Streep.
Based on a true story, the movie follows two businessmen who take on the oppressive racial climate of the 1960s by pretending to be just a janitor and chauffeur, whilst they secretly grow their business empire.
A documentary spanning footage shot over four years of an elephant herd traveling across Africa. The film centers around the matriarch Athena but also pays attention to other animal species encountered along the way.
Ted Lasso: August 14
Boys State: August 14
Long Way Up: September 18
Tehran: September 25
That’s a total of 37 shows and films on the schedule so far. Apple TV+ has a lot more originals in development, with the company committed to adding new content every month. We’ll keep this post updated with the latest official announcements of new Apple TV+ content.
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