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Apple now selling refurbished Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular + GPS models

Apple is now selling refurbished Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular + GPS models on its online store, marking the first time the LTE-capable model has been available for discounted purchase as a refurb unit. The refurbished Series 3 models only appear to be available in the U.S. at this time, and stock appears to have dwindled quickly since they were first posted a few days ago, according to MacRumors. As with most Apple refurbished products, the prices represent about a 15 percent discount over the equivalent brand new models, and are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged, come with Apple’s standard one-year warranty, and are eligible for optional AppleCare+ coverage.

Apple rejects Steam Link iOS app, citing ‘business conflicts’

Apple has rejected Valve’s promised Steam Link app, despite actually pre-approving it earlier this month, CNet reports. According to Valve, Apple informed them this week that Apple reversed its earlier approval due to “business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team.” Valve added that it appealed Apple’s decision, explaining that the Steam Link app functions as a “LAN-based remote desktop” in the same way as “numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store,” but that the appeal was denied. While Valve didn’t go into any details on the specific reasons for the rejection — other than vague “business conflicts” — a later report by Reuters suggests that the conflict is likely connected to in-app purchases, noting that Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi told them that Steam had disabled purchasing in its iOS app, although he did not explain when or how this change was made. It’s unclear whether this will be enough to appease Apple’s App Store review team, or if other issues still remain.

Apple now offering free one-month trial of iCloud storage

Apple appears to have quietly begun offering free one-month trials of its paid iCloud storage plans, a new report by AppleInsider reveals. Although Apple doesn’t appear to have publicized this elsewhere, when users bump up against their free 5 GB storage limit, the prompt that encourages them to upgrade to the 50 GB tier now adds “your first month is free” followed by a large blue button reading “Get 50 GB Free For 1 Month.” Users tapping on the button are then taken to the standard page for changing their storage plan, where they can elect to benefit from a free month for any of Apple’s paid storage tiers. Once the user signs up, the subscription works much like any other Apple subscription services with a free trial, with the plan automatically renewing at its regular monthly fee unless users choose to discontinue it before the renewal date.

Vevo abandoning its own platform in favour of YouTube

The popular Vevo music video service is phasing out its own music video platforms in favor of YouTube, Variety reports. The company announced its plans in a blog post yesterday, stating that it “will phase out elements of our owned and operated platforms” in order to focus in its primary objective, which is “to grow the commercial and promotional value of music videos.”  The post goes on to note that the company’s catalog “will continue to reach a growing audience on YouTube.” Vevo, which is owned primarily by the major labels, has long had a distribution deal with YouTube, which through Google also owns a small stake in the company. While Vevo has traditionally reached most of its audience through YouTube, for the past few years it had tried to lessen its dependence on the service with its own set of apps for mobile devices and set-top boxes, and in fact even toyed at once time with the idea of launching a paid subscription service.


Daily Deal: FenSens Smart License Plate Frame

In our iLounge Deal for Friday, we’re offering the FenSens Smart License Plate Frame for a special Memorial Day price of only $109.99. This smart parking sensor installs on any car and alerts you when you’re getting too close to objects so that you know when to stop, notifying you via an easy-to-use app that launches instantly, even if your iPhone is in your pocket. You can install it in under five minutes with no wiring or professional help needed, and get instant audio, visual, and vibration alerts for any objects detected in front of or behind your vehicle.

Get the FenSens Smart License Plate Frame now for only $109.99

Mophie unveils new portable wireless travel charger and kit

Mophie has unveiled the charge stream pad mini, a new portable Qi-compatible wireless charger for current iPhone models, along with the charge stream travel kit that provides users with everything they need for wirelessly charging while away from home. The charge stream pad mini delivers a five-watt charge for any Qi-enabled smartphone, and features a minimalist low-profile design that fits in whether you’re in a hotel, airport, or even in your car. The compact charge stream travel kit features the charge stream pad mini along with a 2.4-amp wall charger, 2.4-amp car charger, and a 4.9-foot USB-A to Micro-USB cable, along with a travel pouch to easily carry it with you.


Apple knew iPhone 6 models were susceptible to bending problems

New court filings obtained by Motherboard reveal that Apple knew from the beginning that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were much more susceptible to bending problems than prior iPhone models. While Apple has never publicly admitted that the iPhone 6 models have a bending problem, and in fact continues to maintain that position, internal Apple documents in a class-action lawsuit showed that Apple had conducted internal testing and confirmed that the iPhone 6 was 3.3 times more likely to bend than the iPhone 5s, and the iPhone 6 Plus was 7.2 times more likely to bend. While the documents themselves remain under seal, U.S. District Court judge Lucy Koh disclosed some of the information in a recent opinion in the case, adding that “one of the major concerns Apple identified prior to launching the iPhones was that they were ‘likely to bend more easily when compared to previous generations.’”


New Apple patent suggests enhancements to ‘Do Not Disturb’ on iOS

A new Apple patent reported by Patently Apple suggests a possible new addition the company might make to the iPhone’s “Do Not Disturb while Driving” feature. First introduced in iOS 11, Do Not Disturb while Driving allows users to automatically engage a special Do Not Disturb mode that not only silences incoming notifications, but suppresses them from the lock screen entirely to remove the temptation for users to check their iPhone while in the car. Users can also configure an automatic reply in Messages that will be sent to contacts when this mode is engaged, and this is where Apple’s new patent comes in. Patent application 20180146089, titled “Intelligent Digital Assistant for Declining an Incoming Call” would allow Siri to notify the user of an incoming phone message and allow them to dictate a short response that could be sent back to the caller. The response could also include not only text, but also a voice recorded message, a map location, or even a copy of the user’s calendar. Siri could also conceivably answer the call on the user’s behalf to let the caller know that the person is driving. Of course, as with all Apple patents, the mere indication of a patent doesn’t mean that an implementation of it will ever see the light of day, but this one seems like a logical extension of the iPhone’s Do Not Disturb feature.

Apple signs deal with Volkswagen for self-driving employee shuttles

Apple is asking Volkswagen to supply it with self-driving employee shuttles as part of its scaled-down automotive ambitions, The New York Times reports. Citing three people familiar with Apple’s car project, the company has signed a deal with Volkswagen to provide T6 Transporter vans that can be transformed into self-driving shuttles for employees, but sources reveal that the project is not only behind schedule and consuming “nearly all of the car team’s attention” but that it also seems Volkswagen wasn’t Apple’s first choice. According to people familiar with the negotiations, Apple has reportedly failed to come to amenable terms in discussions with BMW and Mercedes-Benz after several rounds of talks that finally ended after each refused to give Apple control over the data and design of the vehicles.


Daily Deal: Fast Wireless Car Charger

In our iLounge Deal for today, you can pick up this Fast Wireless Car Charger for only $25.99 — that’s 35% off the regular price. Get a charge on the road fast, and completely wire-free with this high-speed, Qi-compatible car charging mount. Optimized for Qi-enabled devices like the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy and Note phones, and armed with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 charging tech to help you charge your phone fast while on the road.

Get a Fast Wireless Car Charger now for only $25.99

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