Disney+ Officially Launches in the UK and More European Countries

Disney+ today officially launched in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and Austria.


The premium streaming service is accessible via web browser, on Amazon Fire devices, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV (4K or HD), iOS devices, Android, Google Chromecast, Xbox One, PS4, and smart TVs from LG, Sony, Samsung, and Vizio. You can download the iPhone and iPad apps here.

The subscription price in the U.K. and across Europe is £5.99/€6.99 per month, or £59.99/€69.99 for an annual subscription.

Over 500 feature films and over 7,500 shows are available on the service including new original content like the critically acclaimed "The Mandalorian" and "The World According To Jeff Goldblum," along with timeless classics like "Lady and the Tramp," "Star Wars," and the entire Pixar library.

Disney+ has been available in the U.S. for a while now, but subscribers should note that there will be some content differences in the European offering because of licensing issues.

Due to the anticipated high load on the continent's broadband infrastructure because of a surge in remote working, Disney+ is following other digital video services by streaming at an intentionally lowered bitrate, so picture quality won't be as good as some viewers will be expecting.

It's unclear how long Disney intends to limit video quality, but Netflix said last Thursday that it plans to implement similar measures for 30 days, following a request from the European Union.

The launch of Disney+ has been delayed in France by two weeks on request of the French government – Disney+ will now launch in the country the week of April 7.

Disney says the service will launch later this summer in additional Western Europe markets, including Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal. Disney+ has been available in the Netherlands since September, when it launched there as a pilot trial.
This article, "Disney+ Officially Launches in the UK and More European Countries" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Disney+ to Launch Across Europe This Week With Reduced Streaming Quality, Launch in France Delayed

Disney's premium streaming service, Disney+, will launch across Europe on Tuesday with temporarily degraded video quality, according to Reuters. The measure aims to reduce the burden on the continent's data networks as millions of people switch to working from home.


In a company statement, Disney said it had agreed to a European Union request for streaming-video providers to "ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure."
Anticipating higher consumer demand, the company is instituting measures to "lower our overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25 percent in all of the markets launching Disney+ on March 24th," said Kevin Mayer, head of Disney's Direct-to-consumer and International business.
In addition, the launch of Disney+ has been delayed in France by two weeks on request of the French government. Disney+ will now launch in the country the week of April 7.

Facebook yesterday also committed to downgrade video streaming quality across its social media platforms, including Instagram.

Last week, the European Union asked streaming services to consider temporary reductions in streaming quality due to the abnormally large number of people working from home and taking advantage of streaming services amid the viral outbreak. Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV+, and Amazon all responded to the call.

Currently, streaming content providers have only been asked to lower streaming quality in Europe, so the lower streaming rates do not affect the United States and other countries. The United States has not called on streaming content providers to implement data reduction measures.

It's not clear how long Disney plans to stream with reduced quality and whether tweaks will be made for a better compromise between quality and data usage. Netflix said that it will continue using the lower quality stream for the next 30 days.
This article, "Disney+ to Launch Across Europe This Week With Reduced Streaming Quality, Launch in France Delayed" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

YouTube to Follow Netflix’s Lead and Reduce Stream Quality in Europe to Ease Strain on Broadband Networks

Following in the footsteps of Netflix, YouTube is reducing the quality of its videos in Europe to reduce the strain on broadband networks caused by an upsurge in home usage following the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reports.
"We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default," the company said in a statement.

Standard definition videos are more pixellated and not as sharp as high definition videos, but require less data transmission as a result.

The decision follows news on Thursday that Netflix will comply with a request from the European Union to lower its streaming video quality in Europe to ease network strain from the millions of people working from home. Netflix said it would reduce the bitrate of its streams for 30 days.

Internet traffic has increased with more adults switching to remote working to comply with social distancing measures. With schools closing in many countries, working adults also face the prospect of having to compete for bandwidth with children playing games and watching videos or logging in to e-learning sessions. The launch of Disney+ in Europe next Tuesday, which will offer 4K-resolution content, is unlikely to help matters.

U.K. internet service provider BT told BBC News that its broadband infrastructure has plenty of "headroom" to cope with increased demand as more people stay home due to coronavirus. The company said that since Tuesday, daytime traffic on its network had increased by between 35-60 percent, daytime and evening usage was still much lower than the highest levels it had ever recorded. "The additional load... is well within manageable limits and we have plenty of headroom for it to grow still further," said a BT spokesperson.

Vodafone and TalkTalk, which also provide mobile and broadband services to UK households, gave similar assurances to the BBC despite also seeing increases in web traffic. However, on Tuesday, all U.K. mobile networks suffered severe outages after the number of voice calls rose by 30 per cent and overloaded the system, leaving hundreds of thousands of customers unable to connect calls to people on other mobile networks.

Like Netflix, YouTube has not said whether the bitrate reduction will be implemented in other countries like the United States, but it does not appear that U.S. internet providers have called for such measures at this time.
This article, "YouTube to Follow Netflix's Lead and Reduce Stream Quality in Europe to Ease Strain on Broadband Networks" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Leaked Documents Suggest Apple Could Be Forced to Build iPhones With User-Removable Batteries in Europe

Leaked proposals from the European Union suggest that smartphone manufacturers in the EU could be forced to make all batteries removable in the future. This would mean that any smartphone brand wanting to sell a handheld in the EU, including Apple, would have to ensure that every device on the market has a user-removable battery (via TechRadar).

Image via iFixit

This proposal is said to be a long way from being confirmed as it's not even out in the public yet. The documents were leaked by Dutch publication Het Financieele Dagblad, which suggested that the proposal will be officially unveiled in March.

Apple has always made its iPhones with non-removable batteries, encouraging users to take their devices in to specialists if they ever face issues with degrading batteries. The leaked EU proposals suggest that users shouldn't have to rely on outside help in these situations, and that they should be able to simply swap the battery out on their own.

The iPhone would have to undergo massive design changes to comply with a removable battery design. With a removable battery, the ‌iPhone‌ would potentially lose features like waterproofing and a slim design.

Apple is already pushing back against one ongoing change in the European Union, related to a common charging standard for mobile devices. The European Parliament wants one charger to fit all smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices, with the likely candidate to be USB-C.

This could make the Lightning port on current ‌iPhone‌ models incompatible with the law, and Apple's current stance is that the ‌iPhone‌ is too thin to house a USB-C port. Given that the company disagreed with the charging standard vote, it's likely that if the removable battery proposal ever becomes real legislation in the EU, Apple will once again push back against the proposal.

Tag: Europe

This article, "Leaked Documents Suggest Apple Could Be Forced to Build iPhones With User-Removable Batteries in Europe" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Curve Announces Apple Pay Support for Customers Across Europe

Curve, the banking and payment service which connects several accounts to one smart card, today announced Apple Pay support for all users across Europe.


For those unfamiliar with the service, Curve is a payment card that aggregates multiple payment cards via its accompanying mobile app, allowing users to make payments and withdrawals from a single card.

In other words, you can load a Mastercard or Visa debit and credit cards to the Curve app, and spend using just the Curve Mastercard.

With ‌Apple Pay‌ support now active, the Curve card can be added to the Wallet app just like any other card, allowing it to be used via iPhone and Apple Watch anywhere that accepts contactless payments or displays the ‌Apple Pay‌ logo.
"We are thrilled to announce ‌Apple Pay‌ is here for all European Curve customers," said Diego Rivas, Curve's Head of Product-OS. "Curve's integration with ‌Apple Pay‌ is a magnificent addition to Curve's unique money management features, superbly complimenting Curve's commitment to simplifying and unifying people's financial lives and enabling even more ways for customers to pay with one of the most rewarding and feature-packed personal finance products on the market," added Rivas.
Curve is available in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (excluding Crown Dependencies Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man).

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: Europe

This article, "Curve Announces Apple Pay Support for Customers Across Europe" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Disney+ to Launch in Europe Ahead of Schedule on March 24

Disney+ is coming to Europe sooner than we thought. Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom will now get the streaming service on March 24, Disney revealed today.


Additional Western Europe markets, including Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal, will follow in summer 2020, said the company in a press release. Disney+ is already available in the Netherlands, where it launched as a free pilot trial back in September.

The new launch date is a week earlier than was initially scheduled. In November, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the launch date for European markets would be March 31.

Pricing has also been confirmed at £5.99/€6.99 per month, or £59.99/€69.99 for an annual subscription. Disney+ will be available on Amazon Fire devices, LG and Samsung smart TVs, Roku's streaming devices, Apple TV, iOS, Android, Xbox One, and PS4 at launch.
Users will access high-quality and commercial-free viewing, up to four concurrent streams, unlimited downloads on up to ten devices, personalised recommendations, and the ability to set up to seven different profiles, including the ability for parents to set Kids Profiles that have an easy- to -navigate, child-friendly interface to access age-appropriate content.
Over 500 feature films and over 7,500 shows will be available on the service including new original content like the critically acclaimed "The Mandalorian" and "The World According To Jeff Goldblum," along with timeless classics like "Lady and the Tramp" and the entire Pixar library.

(Thanks, Ricardo!)


This article, "Disney+ to Launch in Europe Ahead of Schedule on March 24" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Disney+ to Launch in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK on March 31, 2020

Disney+ is coming to Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom on March 31, about four months after it launches in the U.S. on November 12.


Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the launch date for the European markets yesterday during an earnings call, the same day it was revealed that the streaming service would be available on Amazon Fire TV streaming devices.

Disney+ will also be on LG and Samsung smart TVs, Roku's streaming devices, Apple TV, iOS, Android, Xbox One, and PS4 at launch.

Disney+ is already available in the Netherlands, where it launched as a free pilot trial back in September. Iger said on Thursday that Disney+ is coming to more countries and additional launch dates will be announced soon.


Iger didn't mention how much European customers would have to pay to access its 500 feature films and over 7,500 shows, including the entire Pixar library and a raft of original content.

The service will cost $6.99 per month in the U.S. and will cost 6.99 euros per month in the Netherlands from November 12.

Tags: Disney, Europe

This article, "Disney+ to Launch in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK on March 31, 2020" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Pay Expands to Additional Banks in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands

Apple Pay has expanded to more banks in Europe today, including ING in Germany, bunq in Austria, and ABN AMRO in the Netherlands.


ING supporting ‌Apple Pay‌ in Germany is notable after a lengthy waiting period following the original announcement. ‌Apple Pay‌ made its debut in Germany in December, allowing iPhone and Apple Watch users in the country to take advantage of the contactless mobile payments service if their card issuer supports it.

Meanwhile, the Federation of German Cooperative banks (BVR) are said to be preparing for ‌Apple Pay‌ support, as are the Sparkassen and Giroverbandes (DSGV) association of savings banks. Both the BVR and the savings banks could start offering support later this year.

Also today, European challenger bank bunq brought ‌Apple Pay‌ to its customers in Austria. "Austrian users can now enable both Maestro and Mastercard cards for ‌Apple Pay‌, so they get the best of both worlds. This gives them the freedom to pay with their iPhone or ‌Apple Watch‌, whenever they want, wherever they go," said bunq founder and CEO Ali Niknam.


Last but not least, ABN AMRO, one of the largest banks in the Netherlands, announced ‌Apple Pay‌ support in early September and now the bank's customers can finally start using Apple's payment service. Rabobank is expected to offer support in the country soon.

‌Apple Pay‌ has been gradually expanding across Europe and the Middle East, launching in Poland, Norway, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, Austria, and Iceland over the last year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in March that ‌Apple Pay‌ would be available in more than 40 countries and regions by the end of 2019. ‌Apple Pay‌ first launched in the United States in October 2014. You can view the full list of ‌Apple Pay‌ countries and regions on Apple's website.

(Thanks, Geert!)


This article, "Apple Pay Expands to Additional Banks in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Pay Launches in 13 Additional European Countries

Apple Pay is officially going live in 13 additional countries today, including Greece, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia, bringing Apple's mobile payment system to millions more users across Europe.



In Slovakia, for example, users can already load cards onto their Apple Wallet from Boon, Edenred, J&T Banka, Monese, N26, Revolut, Slovenska sporitelna, Tatra banka, and mBank.

It's a similar story in many more countries, based on screenshots posted by Apple users on social media this morning.

Apple Pay now also appears to support a number of popular bank cards across Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Romania, and Slovenia.



Apple Pay has been gradually expanding across Europe and the Middle East, launching in Poland, Norway, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, Austria, and Iceland over the last year.

The mobile payment system allows iPhone 6, 6s, 6, 7, 8, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7 Plus, 8 Plus, SE, X, XS, XS Max, and XR users to make payments for goods and services in retail stores using an NFC chip built into their iPhones.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in March that Apple Pay would be available in more than 40 countries and regions by the end of 2019, although Apple's website has yet to be updated with the full list. Apple Pay first launched in the United States in October 2014. You can view the full list of Apple Pay countries and regions on Apple’s website.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: Europe

This article, "Apple Pay Launches in 13 Additional European Countries" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Says European Developers Have Earned Over $25 Billion From App Store

Apple Music vice president Oliver Schusser spoke with German blog Macerkopf this week, revealing that European developers have now earned over $25 billion from the App Store since its inception in 2008.


Schusser also noted that customers have downloaded and streamed over 50 billion episodes of 650,000 active shows on Apple Podcasts.

Apple provided MacRumors with Schusser's full remarks in English:
Our services division which includes the content stores, Apple Pay and iCloud storage is on target to be a $40 billion business annually. In January we announced developer earnings on the App Store have reached $120 billion. Payments to European developers have just passed $25 billion. Apple Music now has 50 million paid users around the world since launching just under 4 years ago. We're the the #1 music streaming service in the US and the leading music service globally on iPhone. Our customers love the amazing content, whether it's through playlists, Radio, Beats 1, or suggestions in For You. Apple Music was the first place to hear great new music from Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd and Frank Ocean to name a few last year. Beats 1 also hosts exclusive and popular artist-led shows from Drake, Nicki Minaj, Ezra Koenig, Lars Ulrich and Elton John. The final update I'd like to share today is around podcasting where our customers have downloaded and streamed over 50 billion episodes of 650,000 active shows on Apple Podcasts.
Other figures mentioned in the remarks were previously known, including that developers have earned over $120 billion globally since the App Store launched and that Apple Music has over 50 million paying subscribers.

(Thanks, Andre!)


This article, "Apple Says European Developers Have Earned Over $25 Billion From App Store" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums