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The latest edition of iLounge Weekly will once again be coming to subscribers’ inboxes early next week. iLounge Weekly is our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge. It’s a summary of the previous week’s news, reviews, and feature articles, meant to get you caught up on recent events. It also often 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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Mac: Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac

Although Apple’s own iWork suite provides a decent set of productivity tools for personal use, it’s pretty hard to argue that Microsoft’s Office suite remains the 800-pound gorilla in the room when it comes to features and compatibility for exchanging documents with others. Even though Microsoft tends to lag a bit behind in their Mac versions, they provide reasonably good support for the Mac platform, making it easier for users to work on files from their own computers, or even to use their Macs at work. With the latest update to Office 2016 for Mac, Microsoft has finally brought real-time collaboration and cloud-based autosave to the Mac apps, bringing them closer to their Windows brethren, and more importantly allowing Mac users into the collaborative playground of their Windows-using colleagues.

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Apple unveils redesigned App Store web preview pages

Following a major overhaul of the App Store in iOS 11, Apple has quietly revamped the App Store’s web preview pages to bring them more in line with new iOS design aesthetic. The new layout opens up with a clear banner notifying users that they will need to open the App Store on their iOS device to actually download the app, followed by a cleaner title area with a larger icon, title, subtitle, developer link, ranking/rating information, and price. Below that the new preview page now focuses on screenshots rather than a description, with links to switch between iPhone, iPad, iMessage, and Apple Watch screenshots; Apple TV screenshots are notably absent from the new preview pages, however. Description and What’s New sections come after the screenshots, followed by a more conspicuous customer reviews section that features a design first introduced in the Apple TV App Store.

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Daily Deal: Ivacy VPN, Lifetime Subscription

In our iLounge Deal for today, you can get a lifetime subscription to Ivacy VPN for only $29.99 — that’s 97% off the regular price. This VPN service gives you anonymous browsing and blazing fast speeds, allowing you to unblock and enjoy buffer-less HD streaming of your favorite movies, TV shows, and sports events from around the world, with servers in more than 100 locations across over 50 countries. Get access to fast P2P sharing, access region-locked content, and anonymize your online activity to protect yourself from hackers and identity thieves, and log in on up to 5 devices simultaneously.

Get a lifetime subscription to Ivacy VPN now for only $29.99

Review: Edifier MP200 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Although we've traditionally seen more extensive speaker systems by Edifier, the company's new MP200 takes it in a different direction with a colourful and fun sub-$50 speaker that's ultra-portable, splash proof, and provides not only Bluetooth capabilities but also micro SD card and USB playback, all packed into a two-inch cube that's surprisingly comfortable to hold in your hand.

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Apple leasing 200,000 square feet of space in Culver City

Photo: Culver City Planning Department, Variety

Apple is leasing 128,000 square feet of space in an office building in Culver City for its content production group, according to a new report by Variety. The location at 8777 Washington Boulevard was originally expected to be occupied by HBO, however they recently backed out of the deal, leaving the field open for Apple to move in. The news was first reported by The Real Deal; Variety subsequently confirmed the news with Thomas Small, the mayor pro tem of Culver City. According to The Real Deal, Apple also still intends to lease another 75,000 square feet at another nearby facility at 5500 Jefferson Blvd.

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Cook apologizes for lack of clarity on iPhone slowdowns, promises transparency in coming iOS update

Photo: ABC News

In an interview with ABC News, Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for Apple’s failure to more effectively communicate its reasoning behind slowing down older iPhones with deteriorating batteries. When asked about the incident, Cook explained that Apple’s motivation behind the move was entirely on the user experience of ensuring users’ iPhones wouldn’t unexpectedly shutdown during seemingly normal usage such as making an emergency call, waiting for an important message, or wanting to “capture that moment that is fleeting with your camera,” and that Apple “felt it would be better to take something off of the performance to prevent that from happening.”  Cook added that when Apple released the iOS update that eliminated unexpected shutdowns last year, “we did say what it was, but I don’t think a lot of people were paying attention,” adding that “maybe we should have been clearer as well.” He went on to “deeply apologize for anybody who thinks that we had some other kind of motivation” and reiterated that “our motivation is always the user” and that “the user is at the centre of everything we do.”

Cook went on to add that Apple has been listening to the recent feedback very carefully, and in addition to “giving everybody a very very low price” on battery replacements, Apple has “thought through this whole thing and learned everything we can” and will be releasing an iOS update in the near future that will provide users with “the visibility of the health of their battery, so it’s very very transparent.” He added that iOS will also begin notifying users when performance throttling is occurring as well as providing the option to turn it off. However, in closing Cook added “we don’t recommend it, because we think that people’s iPhones are really important to them, and you never can tell when something is so urgent and so — you know, our actions were all in service of the user, I can’t stress that enough. You know, maybe we should have been clearer at a point in time, but out actions were always the purest, but again if anybody out there believes we did something nefariously, we apologize for any kind of thing that we did or didn’t do.”

Daily Deal: mStand360 Laptop Stand with Swivel Base

Today in iLounge Deals, we’re offering the mStand360 Laptop Stand with Swivel Base for only $49.99 — that’s 16% off the regular price. This stylish stand transforms your MacBook into a stable workstation that not only gives you comfortable ergonomics, but also helps you spontaneously share ideas with others at the push of a finger. A solid single aluminum base provides stability and acts as a heat sink to cool your computer and improve the airflow around it, the anodized aluminum finish matches the MacBook design aesthetic, and a cable outlet and a space to stash your keyboard helps you keep your desk more organized.

Get the mStand360 Laptop Stand with Swivel Base now for only $49.99

Tip of the Day: Changing the face image for people in Photos

Although the facial recognition features in the iOS Photos app are pretty great, you may not always like the picture it chooses as the “key” photo for a given person. Fortunately, there’s a way to select a different photo, but it’s until recently it’s been so well hidden in the Photos app that most people probably don’t even know it’s there.

To select a new key photo for a person, you must begin by going to the “People” album in the iOS Photos app and selecting the person whose photo you want to change the image for. At the bottom of that person’s photos, tapping “Show Faces” will zoom in on the person’s face in each photo. To set a new key photo, tap the “Select” button in the top right corner, find the photo you want to use and tap on it to select it, and then tap the sharing button. Scrolling to the right in the bottom row of icons should reveal as button to “Make Key Photo” that you can tap on to set the selected photo as the key photo. …

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Review: LifeProof LifeActív Power Pack

Although LifeProof is best known for its rugged waterproof iPhone cases, like other case makers the company has started to branch out a bit into other accessories, and one of its first is a fairly natural extension for the outdoor enthusiast in the form of the LifeActív Power Pack. It's designed to withstand the elements and packs 10,000 mAh of backup power and a built-in LED flashlight.

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