There are now so many Apple subscription services to choose from that it can put a dent in your wallet. Apple One promises to be the solution, but is it worth it?
Apple offers several pricing tiers for its Apple One subscription bundle, but it can be hard to figure out the best value. Before we get into the individual service components, we’ll deal with the matter of price.
Apple One Pricing
There are three monthly fee options for prospective Apple One subscribers:
- Apple One Individual at $14.95/mo.
- Apple One Family at $19.95/mo.
- Apple One Premier at $29.95/mo.
The Individual plan is just what it sounds like: an Apple one subscription for a single Apple ID. The Family tier offers the same services, but five family members have access. You also get four times the cloud storage, but if all five slots are used, that’s less storage per person than the Individual option.
The Premier plan adds two additional services known as Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+. It also increases the shared storage tenfold, offering 2TB of iCloud. That’s 400GB per person if all five slots are used.
The Premier tier offers the best value and the most significant savings, but only if you find value in the additional storage space and services. Let’s look at each service briefly so you know what you’re getting for your money.
Apple Music ($9.99/mo Individual, $14.99/mo Apple Music Family Sharing)
Apple Music is in direct competition with services such as Spotify, YouTube Music, and Tidal. According to Apple, over 75 million songs are on the service, with a growing catalog. Indeed, almost all notable artists are present and accounted for.
In our experience, some more obscure artists aren’t on Apple Music even when you’ll find them on YouTube music. However, the vast majority of Apple Music users don’t have any complaints about the selection.
Apple Music is an industry-leading music streaming service. We particularly like the hand-curated list that helps you get to grips with the discography of artists you’ve never heard before.
There are four pricing tiers for this service on its own. Apart from the two mentioned above, there is the Student ($4.99/mo) options and Voice ($4.99/mo). These are special pricing plans, so we aren’t taking them into account since not everyone qualifies for the student plan, and the voice plan is limited to Siri and doesn’t offer the entire experience.
Apple Arcade ($4.99/mo, Family Sharing)
IOS has typically been far ahead of Android when it comes to optimized hardware, support for peripherals like gamepads, and premium game experiences when it comes to mobile gaming. However, you still get the same free-to-play and microtransaction-ridden issues with iOS games as you do on Android.
Apple Arcade is a little like Game Pass on Xbox, acting as a “Netflix” for games. As long as you are a subscriber, you get full access to a curated collection of games that are constantly growing.
Apple Arcade games are guaranteed to be premium games that contain no microtransactions. If you pay your subscription fee, you have full access to everything. Family Sharing is also included by default, so for about $5 a month, your entire family group can play on iPhones, Macs, iPads, and Apple TVs.
Apple TV+ ($4.99/mo Family Sharing)
Apple TV+ is Apple’s answer to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It offers premier original shows produced by Apple and includes series and films across multiple genres.
The selection of shows is much smaller than the libraries offered by competing services, but there are real gems here, such as Ted Lasso, Foundation, and The Morning Show.
While there’s plenty of worthwhile content to watch and more are being added, we don’t think that Apple TV+ deserves a permanent subscription by itself. It makes more sense to subscribe for a month, catch up on all the best shows and then cancel again.
Apple iCloud+ (Starting at $0.99/mo)
All Apple accounts get 5GB of free cloud storage that can be used to store photos and user data backups. If you want more than this amount of space, you’ll need to pay for it.
Apple has a rather curious pricing structure, but a single user can get 50GB of space for a dollar a month. Then it’s $2.99 for 200GB and $9.99 for 2TB of iCloud storage. The 200GB and 2TB options include family sharing.
Apple’s iCloud service is truly useful for anyone with one or more Apple devices, although we wish there were more intermediate tiers and larger tiers for professional users. However, we can’t argue with its fantastic integration into the ecosystem and recommend that all Apple gadget owners invest in some iCloud storage.
Apple News+ (Apple One Premier Only, $9.99/mo Family Sharing)
If you’re sick of running into paywalls when looking for news on the internet, Apple News+ might be a good fit. It works through the Apple News app. As part of your subscription fee, you’ll get access to several premium paid news outlets and magazines.
This sounds great, but if you don’t live in the US, Canada, Australia, or the UK, you won’t have access to the service. On the upside, Family Sharing is included in the flat rate. This means up to six people in your family group can access premium news through the app.
There are over 200 magazines on offer, with back issues stretching back a few years. However, you won’t find the entire run of any magazine on offer as far as we can tell. These magazines span various topic areas, so everyone is sure to find something they like.
You’ll get access to The Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, and the Toronto Star on the newspaper side of things. Considering the price of magazine and newspaper subscriptions, Apple News+ is quite the bargain. Especially compared to apps like Zinio, you might pay as much for just a single issue.
Apple Fitness+ (Apple One Premier Only, $9.99/mo)
The Apple Watch series has been a smashing success for Apple, appealing to tech nerds and fitness fanatics. After establishing itself as a major player in the smartwatch market, Apple announced the Fitness+ service.
This service for Apple Watch owners gives you access to home workouts led by qualified instructors. The idea is to combine this with the fitness tracking of your Apple Watch with instructional videos to make sure you’re hitting your fitness targets.
Although you must have an Apple Watch to set up Apple Fitness+, once that’s done, you can follow workouts on your iPhone or iPad without the watch. Of course, if you aren’t wearing your Apple Watch, you won’t see any of the live metrics on-screen. You also can use AirPlay to put the workout on your TV, but the metrics don’t currently appear there either.
When Is Apple One Worth It?
If you already use all four of the services included in the individual tier of Apple One, it makes sense to pay $6 less for the same service. The main issue is that this tier only offers 50GB of iCloud storage. So if you need more than that (and we think 200GB of iCloud storage is the sweet spot), you’re better off paying separately.
The family plan offers the best value for two people who can share the 200GB iCloud allocation, but if you’re more than two people, the amount of storage is rather cramped, and it doesn’t include News+ or Fitness+.
- Get Apple One Individual if you are happy with just 50GB of cloud storage and live alone, with no interest in Fitness+ or News+.
- Get Apple One Family if you are at most four people and don’t care about News+ or Fitness+.
- Everyone else should get the Premier tier.
There is plenty of value in every tier, even if you don’t use all the services. But be sure to tally up the costs of the individual subscriptions for services you do use versus the ones you don’t to make sure you’re saving money.