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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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App Diary: Somewhere: The Vault Papers

With the modern push toward high-end graphics and even augmented and virtual reality applications, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that it’s often the storyline that really makes a game into an immersive experience. Such is the case with Somewhere: The Vault Papers ($3), a new interactive text adventure game by independent development studio Norseman Interactive. In the game, you take on the role of a random person who gets contacted by a journalist caught up in the midst of a major whistleblowing conspiracy. As a fan of conspiracy games and old-school text adventure games, this one definitely intrigued me enough to take a closer look, and while it wasn’t the most intricate game I’ve played, it definitely didn’t disappoint.


Review: iDevices Instant Switch

iDevices was one of the first HomeKit adopters we encountered, and unlike many companies that came on board later, pivoted into the home automation market as a result of HomeKit; prior to that, iDevices was best known for its Bluetooth connected cooking thermometers, such as the iGrill, iGrillmini, and Kitchen Thermometer. From a humble start with the iDevices Switch HomeKit smart plug, iDevices has built up its own family of somewhat unique home automation accessories, including a thermostat, outdoor outlet, and an in-wall switch and in-wall outlet. While all of the company's efforts up until now have been fully HomeKit-enabled, iDevices has continued to develop its own solid HomeKit-compatible iOS app, and has now released its first non-HomeKit accessory: the Instant Switch, designed to work exclusively with iDevices' own switches and outlets.


Review: Sonarworks True-Fi DSP Reference Headphone App

Choosing a headphone can be overwhelming. There are innumerable shapes, sizes, and sound signatures, at prices ranging from pocket change to a small fortune — how can we know what headphones are truly "good?" Reviewers (us included) can only provide subjective impressions, and searching for objective measurements of sound signature and quality can be a fool's errand — measurements often differ between even the most experienced reviewers, and even the most expensive measurement equipment is prone to user error and variations in test conditions. Manufacturers promise that their headphones sound like "what the artist intended," but that too is nearly impossible — most audio equipment colors the sound being played in some way; we cannot know what equipment the artist used during recording, and the artist cannot know what equipment we're using to listen. In this mess of audio anxiety, a Latvian audio technology company Sonarworks is taking a new approach with its True-Fi software.


Apple expected to launch new low-cost iPads at next week’s education event

Apple is expected to unveil at least one new low-cost iPad model at next week’s education event, Bloomberg reports. The event, announced last week, is being held on Tuesday at Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago, and is the first time Apple has held an education-related event since 2012 when it unveiled textbooks and the iBooks Author tool. According to Mark Gurman, Apple will be showing off a new version of its entry-level iPad, presumably an update to the fifth-generation iPad which debuted around this time last year starting at the previously unheard of price of $329. While there has been speculation that Apple may lower the price even further this year or introduce Apple Pencil support to the lower-end iPad, Gurman doesn’t provide any insight into that.


Report reveals law enforcement routinely unlocks iPhones with dead people’s fingers

A new report by Forbes has revealed that it’s a rather common practice for law enforcement agencies to use the fingers of deceased suspects to attempt to unlock their iPhones. In the report, FBI forensics specialist Bob Moledor outlined a 2016 case where an agent used the finger of a suspect who had been shot by police following a stabbing rampage to attempt to unlock an iPhone found on the deceased. While Moledor added that this particular attempt didn’t work — the report speculates it may have been an iPhone 5 rather than an iPhone 5s — it was the first known case of law enforcement officials attempting to use a deceased person’s finger to unlock an iPhone using Touch ID.


Apple Store app gains new ‘Sessions’ section

Apple has released a significant update to its Apple Store app, promising users “a more personal, relevant in-store experience” with recommendations for products and in-store training sessions. The highlight of the update is a new “Sessions” tab which allows users to more easily find daily sessions be held in local Apple Stores on creative subjects such as photography and music, and sessions can be filtered based on the products that a user already owns. Users can also now view stock levels for their favorite products, and scan accessories using their iPhone in-store to get more information on a product, including information such as device compatibility. New order management features also allow users to view invoices, edit shipping details and custom engraving messages, and cancel individual items in an order — all capabilities that previously required a visit to Apple’s website.

Daily Deal: ShutterGrip Smartphone Camera Controller

In our iLounge Deal for today, you can pick up the ShutterGrip Smartphone Camera Controller for only $29.99 — that’s 25% off the regular price. This simple attachment will help you take better pictures on your iPhone, ensuring that you can capture great moments anywhere without fear of dropping your iPhone as well as providing a more stable grip to eliminate camera shake. ShutterGrip uses a tensioned grip that allows it to attach securely to almost any smartphone, with or without a case, and adds a study, ergonomic handle and wireless shutter button. There’s also a tripod screw and lanyard hole so you can use it to mount your iPhone on a tripod or keep it securely around your wrist.

Get the ShutterGrip Smartphone Camera Controller now for only $29.99

Apple confirms fix is in the works for bug that allows Siri to access hidden notifications

In a statement provided to MacRumors, Apple has confirmed that it already has a fix underway for a bug reported earlier this week in which Siri could bypass privacy restrictions on third-party messaging apps, allowing for otherwise hidden messages to be read aloud, even when an iPhone is locked.


Mac: Satechi Aluminum Type-C Multimedia Adapter

Let’s face it, as nice as it sounds in theory when we look at Apple’s newest MacBooks, most of us are just not quite ready yet for a USB-C-only world. Fortunately, Satechi has us covered; the company makes some of the nicest USB-C hubs we’ve seen for Mac users, matching the design aesthetic of modern MacBooks perfectly. Satech’s latest offering is its Aluminum Type-C Multimedia Adapter, which provides two card slots and a total of seven ports — including USB-C Power Delivery output — that should give most MacBook users just about everything they need.


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