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The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, will be arriving in subscribers’ inboxes early next week. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s best news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and accessory discount offers from various companies. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address, if you haven’t done so already.

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Report reveals additional details on Apple and BMW talks

Following news earlier this week that Apple and BMW had been in discussions last year about using the BMW i3 as a foundation for its own electric car initiative, a new report from Reuters suggests that those negotiations may yet resume at some indeterminate point in the future. Sources familiar with the original talks told Reuters that the dialogue between the two companies ended last fall due to Apple’s desire to explore developing the car on its own and BMW was cautious about becoming a “mere supplier to a software or internet giant,” but had seemed willing to consider licensing parts. While one source indicated that “exploratory talks between senior managers may be revived at a later stage,” recent staff changes in the upper echelons of BMW may complicate matters, with the new CEO focusing on internal priorities rather than new projects along with the departure of Herbert Diess, the board member who led initial discussions with Apple. BMW’s new head of R&D, Klaus Froehlich, has stated that Apple and BMW have much in common, but indicated that his company would not “consider any deal that forces it to open up its core know-how to outsiders.”

Review: PhotoFast i-FlashDrive MAX

Even with the ever-increasing capacity of Apple's iOS devices there's always a case to be made for needing extra storage, creating a market for Lightning-equipped external storage devices that allow users to offload and carry around additional media and other files without cluttering up their device. i-FlashDrive MAX ($60-$160) is the latest entry in this category, similar in concept to the Leef iBRIDGE that we looked at earlier this year. Claiming to be the "world’s smallest iOS FlashDrive", i-FlashDrive MAX eschews some of the aesthetics found in other solutions to provide a compact but highly portable solution for keeping your extra files handy on the go. The device is available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities with USB 3.0 ($80/$100/$130/$160), while a slower USB 2.0 model is available in 32GB and 64GB capacities ($60/$70). We reviewed the USB 3.0 32GB model.

Report: New Apple TV to debut in September, subscription service to come later

Apple is on track to unveil its new Apple TV hardware this September, according to a new report from BuzzFeed News, however the rumoured TV subscription service won’t be accompanying it just yet. Several reports suggested that Apple originally planned to launch the new device at WWDC this past June, but refocused its efforts on Apple Music instead. A fall launch of the new hardware comes as little surprise, however there were expectations that Apple would launch a TV subscription service at the same time, however this latest news echoes a report from early June that suggested that it could easily be delayed into next year due to delays in finalizing licensing deals. The next-generation Apple TV is expected to be announced during the fall iPhone event and remains in line with what previous rumours have indicated, with a new, slimmer design and an Apple A8 CPU, a “drastically improved” remote with touch-pad input, Siri support, and an App Store and SDK to provide support for third-party apps.

Daily Deal: Exchange 3-Port USB Car Charger

Today in iLounge Deals we’re offering the Exocharge 3-Port USB Car Charger for only $14.99. With three ultra-fast USB ports, this car charger will keep your passengers happy and their devices fully charged while on the go.

Get the Exocharge 3-Port USB Car Charger now for only $14.99

Tip of the Day: Showing only Downloaded Music in iOS 8.4

The introduction of Apple Music and iCloud Music Library in iOS 8.4, like iTunes Match before it, effectively places your entire iTunes music library and more at your fingertips, rather than only the music you’ve chosen to sync to your device directly from iTunes. You can still explicitly download tracks simply by tapping on the option button beside a song, album, or playlist and choosing “Make available offline,” however anything that hasn’t been downloaded and stored on your device will be streamed from Apple’s servers. If you find this selection to be a bit overwhelming, or simply want to stick to locally stored music to save on cellular data bandwidth, you can easily filter your “My Music” section to only show music that’s actually been downloaded to your device.

From the “My Music” screen, tap on the header above your album, track, or playlist listing, and down at the bottom you’ll see a toggle to Show Music Available Offline. Turning this on will immediately filter your library to show only those tracks that are stored on your device. This also happens automatically if you put your iPhone in Airplane Mode or are otherwise away from a cellular or Wi-Fi data connection. Unfortunately, this doesn’t affect playlists – you’ll still see all of them listed, even those that don’t contain any downloaded tracks.…

Apple releases second iOS 8.4.1 beta to developers

Apple has released a second iOS 8.4.1 beta to developers. Featuring a build number of 12H318, this second release, like the first, provides no release notes, and likely simply addresses unresolved issues with Apple Music and other features from last month’s iOS 8.4 release. The latest build has not yet appeared for direct download on the Apple Developer site; it is currently only available as an over-the-air update to those running the first iOS 8.4.1 beta released two weeks ago,

Volkswagen adds CarPlay to 2016 lineup

Volkswagen has announced CarPlay support for almost its entire 2016 lineup of cars, with the first models expected to be arriving in dealerships this week. The company’s all-new Modular Infotainment Platform (MIB II) is being incorporated into the entire 2016 VW lineup, “in virtually every trim” and will include support for Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto, MirrorLink and Volkswagen’s own Car-Net connected vehicle services platform, the latter of which will integrate with VW’s iOS apps to provide features such as remote door lock and unlock, remote honk and light flash, last parked location, remote door and window status check, vehicle monitoring, and more. Volkswagen also plans to provide a VW Car-Net app for Apple Watch later this year that will allow customers to access vehicle features directly from their wrist.

Four different head unit configurations will be available depending on the trim level of the vehicle, with entry level models featuring a basic color touchscreen with a five-inch resistive 400x240 display and AUX-IN, SD card support, an iPhone/iPod-compatible USB interface, and Bluetooth support, but notably omitting CarPlay support. Select trims acrosss the entire Volkswagen line will include the “Composition Media” package which will include full CarPlay support along with a 6.3 or 6.5-inch 800x480 capacitive color touchscreen with proximity sensor along with the ability to sync two phones simultaneously, dual SD card slots, SiriusXM Radio, HD Radio, and FLAC support. Higher trim levels will offer “Discover Media” and “Discover Pro” head units which incorporate all of the features of the “Composition Media” package while adding integrated navigation features.

 

Daily Deal: Drive Genius 4

In today’s iLounge Deal we’re offering Drive Genius 4 for only $49.99 – almost 50% off the regular price. This award-winning app will help you keep your Mac running smoothly, optimizing and cleaning up OS X for optimum performance and keeping you up to date on potential hard drive issues before they become catastrophic. With Drive Genius 4 you can create a bootable secondary drive to easily repair your main hard drive, track down large files and duplicates to save disk space, check for and repair possible file and folder corruption, and much more.

Get Drive Genius 4 now for only $49.99

Review: Zivix Jamstik+ MIDI Guitar Controller

Zivix's new Jamstik+ ($300) is a sequel to last year's Jamstik MIDI guitar, adding Bluetooth Smart connectivity and a refined experience with a new set of iOS apps. The new version is available at the same price point as the original Jamstik, with the first-generation model getting a slight price drop. Like its predecessor, Jamstik+ is aimed at both the aspiring student and the experienced guitarist as a highly portable electronic guitar that allows musicians to plug into their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and jam out with their favourite MIDI apps. The new version is also now available in blue and white models in addition to the original black.






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