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Review: Anker Soundbuds Surge In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones

Just a little while ago, we reviewed the Anker Soundbuds Slim — a highly recommendable, highly-affordable Bluetooth headphone designed for sport. Anker recently sent us the Soundbuds Surge, a refresh of the Slim. The Surge has more similarities to its predecessor than differences, making it just as easy to recommend.

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Report sheds light on slow development, various prototypes of HomePod

Photo: Bloomberg

A new report from Bloomberg claims Apple’s HomePod project began long before the appearance of Amazon’s Echo, but that the endeavor underwent false starts, cancellations and multiple redesigns to get to the product Apple expects to release next year. Sources close to the development said Apple was blindsided by the appearance of the Echo after spending two years developing its own similar product. As executives struggled to figure out how to produce something that fit in with Apple’s existing products—at one point envisioning a 3-foot tall speaker — the home speaker that started as an Apple employee side project became something that is much more an accessory than its own standalone product.

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Apple admits that student interns in China worked illegal overtime on iPhone X assembly line

Photo: 9to5Mac

Six high school students said they “routinely work 11-hour days assembling the iPhone X at a factory in Zhengzhou” despite that type of workday being illegal for student interns under Chinese law, The Financial Times reports. The six claim they’re only a few of the 3,000 students sent from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School to work at the local Foxconn factory in September. They were all told the three-month stint on the assembly line was “work experience” necessary for graduation, depite one student saying, “The work has nothing to do with our studies.” Apple admitted that an audit “confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime.” The students told a different tale, with one saying, “We are being forced by our school to work here.” [via 9to5Mac]

Apple drops Skype from China’s App Store at government’s request

Apple has confirmed that Skype — one of the last foreign-operated methods for online communication inside China — has been pulled from the App Store at the request of the Chinese government, The New York Times reports. Chinese users have been complaining they were suddenly unable to use Apple’s systems to pay for Skype services. “We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law. Therefore these apps have been removed from the app store in China,” Apple said in a short e-mailed statement. Skype is still technically functional in the country, but its removal from the App Store could leave it destined to join apps like WhatsApp, Gmail, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Telegram and Line that have been rendered unusable by government filters. The Chinese government has also insisted on the removal of other foreign apps, like that of The New York Times.

Daily Deal: Droplr Pro Lifetime License

In our iLounge Deal for today, you can get a Lifetime License to Droplr Pro for only $29.99 — that’s 98% off the regular price. This handy tool and cloud service helps you take the struggle out of digital collaboration by letting you easily share your files with anyone, anywhere — simply drag a file to the Droplr icon on your desktop or hit the short cut, and it gets automatically uploaded to a cloud server where you can share it with anybody on your team. Even better, iLounge readers can get an additional 15% off with the coupon code GIFTSHOP15.

Get Droplr Pro now for only $29.99

Review: Yevo 1 True Wireless Headphones

The age of the "true wireless" earbuds started early last year, with the Bragi Dash — an ambitious but ultimately disappointing first step into an entirely new headphone form factor. Though we don't think this type of headphone has found its foothold yet in the consumer market, it is encouraging to see that many brands — including big ones like Samsung and Sony — are still trying to make true wireless headphones happen. This week we're trying the newest offering from from Yevo, called the Yevo 1. After living with them for a few weeks we find that, though the Yevo 1 hasn't solved all the challenges faced by a true wireless headphone, its clean look and sound make it a decent option for those willing to spend some extra money for a wire-free experience.

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Apple warns developers that watchOS apps need to be native by April 1

In a blog post, Apple has warned developers that all watchOS apps need to be native apps by April 1. Apple will no longer be accepting updates to watchOS 1 apps after that date, meaning all submissions will have to be built with the watchOS 2 SDK or later, and new apps “should be built with the watchOS 4 SDK or later.” It appears that existing non-native apps will likely still remain on the App Store after April 1, 2018, however developers will not be able to release updates to those apps without rebuilding them with the newer watchOS2 SDK.

FBI served search warrant to unlock Texas shooter’s iPhone

After trying and failing to compel Apple to unlock San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone, the FBI has issued a new search warrant to the company asking for help unlocking Texas church gunman Devin Kelley’s iPhone, mySA reports. The warrant requests “files stored on Kelley’s iPhone, a second mobile phone found near his body and for files stored in Kelley’s iCloud account.” Court records show Kelley had an iPhone SE and a lower tech LG 328BG in his possession. Apple’s iCloud policy states that information stored on the service can be provided to law enforcement in answer to a search warrant, but Apple refused to comment on the story.

Apple looking to Intel for 5G modems as fight with Qualcomm continues

As Apple slugs it out in court with longtime modem supplier Qualcomm, the company is cooperating with Intel to prepare its devices for the switch to 5G technology, Fast Company reports. Qualcomm’s current 5G chips offer more specialized features, but a source said since many of those features won’t be widely adopted by carriers it’s likely Intel’s 5G modem will be more than sufficient for future iPhones. The source claims Intel has “multiple thousands” of employees working on the technology, calling the iPhone contract a “must-win” for the company. Apple first started splitting orders between Qualcomm and Intel with the iPhone 7 in 2016 and Intel has proved more than willing to customize its products for Apple. With Verizon abandoning the older CDMA networks that required Apple to keep some of its modem business with Qualcomm, Apple has one less reason to split orders for future devices.

Apple reportedly integrating streaming sports into TV app next month

Apple’s TV app is set to gain live streaming sports from ESPN next month, 9to5Mac reports. A source from a “major sports network” confirmed the launch date, claiming the update will arrive as part of iOS 11.2 on or around December 4, as well as being enabled on tvOS 11.2 at the same time. The app will gain live games from ESPN along with live scores and game clocks in a single interface. The app also includes the ability to receive live alerts for close games so users can switch back and forth. The feature is not yet live in any of the iOS 11.2 apps we’ve seen so far.





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