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Review: Western Digital My Cloud (OS 3)

Despite the popularity of cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive, increasing security and privacy concerns are fueling a desire by many users to keep their important data completely under their own control, rather than trusting it to another company's cloud. Although storing data on your computer or external hard drive at your home or office can certainly make you feel more secure about where you're keeping your data, in an era of iPhones and iPads, that often creates a tradeoff between having access to your important data while on the go and trusting it to a third-party cloud provider. Western Digital's My Cloud ($150-$380) attempts to bridge this gap, providing the best of both worlds in the form of an external network attached storage (NAS) device that keeps all of your data locally stored under your own control, while providing remote access through the company's web portal and companion iOS app. While My Cloud has been around for a while as a simple NAS device, the company's somewhat recent release of a My Cloud OS 3 update for the hardware and a significantly enhanced iOS app have made the device a much more capable replacement for services like Dropbox.

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Report: 2017 iPhone to eliminate home button

Lending credence to previous rumors and speculation, sources have told Bloomberg that Apple is working on a “major redesign” of the iPhone for 2017 that will remove the Home button and focus “more heavily on the display.” Back in May, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber revealed “scuttlebutt” that the 2017 iPhone would feature an “all-new form factor” getting rid of the top and bottom edges and incorporating the Touch ID sensor behind the glass. Separate reports also suggested Apple is working on an all-glass casing for the 2017 model.

Apple to add payment technology to iPhone for transit passes, Apple Pay in Japan

Apple is planning to release new technology in the next generation iPhone that will support mobile payments and tap-to-pay for transit in Japan, Bloomberg reports. While most countries use payment terminals compatible with the NFC standard already used by Apple Pay in current iPhone models, Japanese systems use a Sony-designed technology known as FeliCa. Sources reveal that Apple plans to include this hardware technology in the next-generation iPhone, although the functionality could be held back until later depending on how Apple’s negotiations with Japan-based payment networks go. The feature would allow customers in Japan to store their public bus and train passes on their iPhones, which could then be tapped against entrance scanners in place of a physical card. Although the FeliCa chip is used across the board, there are still multiple providers of transit payment cards for different types of transit and regions within the county, and Apple intends to work with multiple providers to ensure maximum coverage for the feature. The FeliCa chip is also used by Japanese point-of-sale systems, so the move would allow Apple to effectively roll out Apple Pay in Japan as well.

Daily Deal: Password Boss Premium Lifetime Subscription

Today in iLounge Deals you can get a Lifetime Subscription to Password Boss Premium for only $19.99 — 86% off the regular price. This service lets you store all of your passwords in a single vault, allowing you to easily auto-fill your usernames and passwords for all your online accounts. You only need to remember one master password for your Password Boss account and you can use strong passwords for all of your other online services for maximum security and peace-of-mind. Unlimited syncing across devices lets you get access to you passwords from anywhere you happen to be, you can also share password with an unlimited number of people, and two-step verification keeps your passwords even more secure from hackers.

Get your Lifetime Subscription to Password Boss Premium now for only $19.99

Review: Distil Union Stanley Stand

Distil Union's Stanley is a flexible leather stand for iPhone. Mostly a maker of wallets and wallet iPhone cases, Stanley is a foray into something different for DU. Stanley is a simple stand — a flexible one-piece leather stand which comes in a variety of colors. (The "aqua" stand we received is a nice departure from all the black stands and docks we see regularly.) An iPhone can be docked in portrait or landscape mode, and a small hole in the back of the stand allows a Lightning cable to be passed through for charging. Distil Union also includes a 6' USB extension cable with Stanley. The stand can be folded up into a flatter shape when traveling to take up a small amount of space.

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Apple releases iOS 9.3.5 ‘security update’

Apple has released iOS 9.3.5, its third minor update in the past six weeks, coming only a little more than three weeks on the heels of the release of iOS 9.3.4. As with the prior release, the latest update appears to be another minor patch, with release notes merely describing it once again as “an important security update” that is recommended for all iOS 9 users. With iOS 10 expected to debut in the near future, iOS 9 updates will likely be limited to security patches such as these to accommodate older devices incapable of being updated to iOS 10.

Report: Apple developing its own Snapchat-style social video editing iOS app

Apple has been working on a new video sharing and editing application with a focus on social networking, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Sources familiar with Apple’s strategy suggest that the move is aimed at taking on apps such as Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. The move would likely expand on new features in iOS 10’s new Messages app, which will bring new animated effects, stickers, and tools expandable via third-party App Store plug-ins — features clearly designed to bring the Messages app more into line with apps like Snapchat to appeal to a younger set of users.

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Apple announces Apple Music Festival lineup including Alicia Keys, Britney Spears + more

Apple has announced the complete lineup of artists that will be performing at this year’s Apple Music Festival, scheduled to run from Sept. 18-30. The event will be headlined by popular artists including Alicia Keys, Bastille, Britney Spears, Calvin Harris, Chance The Rapper, Elton John, Michael Bublé, OneRepublic, Robbie Williams and The 1975, with the full lineup announced today on Beats 1 by London’s Julie Adenuga. Apple Music subscribers will also be able to access exclusive Festival content such as playlists, artist news, and backstage interviews throughout the month of September, and subscribers will be able to watch the ten nights of performances both live and on-demand via any device supporting Apple Music.

Daily Deal: Soundjump Bluetooth Speaker

Today in iLounge Deals, you can get the Soundjump Bluetooth Speaker for only $104.99 — 30% off the regular price. This portable Bluetooth speaker features a removable 6,000 mAh Powerbank and dual custom 45mm full range drivers to deliver great sound wherever you happen to be. The removable battery is rechargeable separately, and can be used to charge your other devices directly when not inserted into the Soundjump.

Get the Soundjump Bluetooth Speaker now for only $104.99

Universal calls an end to exclusives amid criticisms that Apple Music is hurting the industry

Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge has sent out an email to UMG executives according to The Leftsetz Letter, announcing that the company will be prohibiting the practice of exclusive music streaming deals. The move comes on the heels of exclusive releases by artists such as Frank Ocean, and scathing remarks by music industry analyst and critic Bob Lefsetz, who published an open letter this past weekend, stating that Apple should be “investigated by the government for antitrust” and that artists who take money from Apple for exclusives are complicit in “screwing fans.”

Because there’s a conspiracy between Apple Music and the industry to change the game, to get everybody to pay for a subscription by putting hit content behind a paywall.

In his letter, Lefsetz explains how the music industry eventually embraced streaming and how the services had been “fan-friendly” until the recent move toward penning exclusive release deals with artists. Leftsetz goes on to criticize the amount of press buzz created by these exclusive deals, which push out other acts that might be more worthy of recognition, and how the industry still needs a “free tier” where “casual fans can experience new music” rather than “overpaying” for the experience. [via Macrumors]

 





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