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Apple Arcade Comes to the Mac

Apple Arcade is a new gaming subscription service. Mac users can finally enjoy the new service, if they’re running the macOS Catalina beta.

By Chand Bellur

October 5, 2019 at 10:53 a.m. PDT

What is Apple Arcade?

Gaming subscription services have been around for some time. They’re essentially like Netflix for video games. Instead of purchasing one game, users subscribe to a gaming service and play a selection of games.

Apple’s new gaming service, aptly named Apple Arcade, is late to market. Unlike its well seasoned competitors, however, it has appealing features for discerning customers. For one, there are no in-app purchases in Apple Arcade. Every game is completely playable, without additional fees. Apple Arcade also offers an ad-free experience. This is very important for mobile devices and MacBooks with small screens. Advertisements eat up screen space, which is much more annoying with a game than a website.

Known for expensive prices, Apple Arcade’s $4.99/mo subscription fee is quite reasonable. Subscribers can share the service with up to 5 additional family members.

Apple leverages their ecosystem, allowing users to pick up games on different devices. If you’re playing an Apple Arcade game on your iPhone, you can resume the same game on your iPad, Mac or Apple TV.

The new service also appeals to frequent fliers and cellular data misers. All Apple Arcade games can be played without an Internet connection.

Privacy is always at the center of Apple products. Although their products are not flawless, security breaches are rare defects, not features. With Apple Arcade, customers’ privacy is protected by default. Users need to opt-in to share their data.

Indeed, Apple seems to benefit from the experiences of other game subscription services. They addressed every annoyance with a solution.

How Do I Get Apple Arcade on My Mac?

Apple Arcade only works with the newest versions of Apple’s operating systems. If you’re using a Mac, you’ll need to install the macOS Catalina beta. Simply sign up on Apple’s beta software program website, and follow the onscreen instructions.

Be forewarned, beta software is not reliable. It’s stable, but often riddled with defects. If your Mac is a mission critical device, it’s a good idea to wait for the release version. In fact, you may want to wait for a few updates, as Apple’s major OS releases tend to be quite defective these days.

For the tech savvy, virtualization is always an option. You can install macOS Catalina as a virtual operating system within macOS Mojave. This is beyond the scope of this article, however, myriad resources provide assistance with virtualization.


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