Apple has reportedly joined the FlexTech Alliance, a collection of 162 organizations working with the Pentagon on flexible sensor electronics capable of being worn by soldiers, or molded to the outside of vehicles.
Other Alliance partners include major names like Boeing and Harvard, and lesser-known entities like Advantest Akron Polymer Systems and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Reuters said on Friday. U.S. military officials explained that rapid technological advancement has prompted them to turn to the private sector instead of solo development.
The federal government is contributing $75 million to the project over the course of five years, while private companies will add another $90 million under the oversight of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. Local governments will pour in still more taxpayer money, bringing the total to $171 million.
An office called the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Hub is being established San Jose, California, the seventh of nine institutes planned by the Obama administration to spur U.S. manufacturing sectors. Several of them are linked to the military.
Apple’s possible role in the project is uncertain, since it could theoretically offer both hardware and software expertise, and has had relatively few dealings with the American military. In 2010, for instance, U.S. Army leaders visited Apple’s Cupertino campus to discuss development and deployment opportunities. 2013 saw the Pentagon approve iOS for government networks.
The company could already be developing flexible electronics however, as in January it was awarded a U.S. patent on a bendable device similar to an iPhone. Any real-world product would likely be years away from shipping, but might be helped along by FlexTech research.
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The launch of new Apple TV hardware may have been delayed from WWDC to Apple’s Sept. 9 event to allow the company more time to polish its interface, one that will allegedly “blow away” current, “junky” smart TV interfaces.
In a preview of Apple’s upcoming event, Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch revealed some interesting tidbits he’s heard from sources about the anticipated hardware refresh. Specifically, he said the interface on the new device has been heavily refined by the company, particularly in the final touches put in place.
What to expect:
Next-gen Apple TV
- Siri voice input
- New remote with touchpad
- Dedicated App Store
- Debut at Sept. 9 event
Late 2015 Apple TV
Panzarino went as far as to say that the new iteration of the set-top box will be the “first real Apple TV product” from the Cupertino, Calif., company.
He believes that by including an App Store that will allow content to be delivered directly to consumers, Apple will gain leverage in negotiations with traditional media companies. Those talks for a subscription streaming TV service have allegedly been held up over issues of pricing.
“A mid-market breakout box offering is one thing, but a huge, rumbling platform with an upward trajectory of living-room dominating apps and third-party content is another beast,” Panzarino wrote. “If, obviously if, Apple is successful with the Apple TV, it could be in a position to dominate content in a way that no other ‘smart’ TV platform has before it.”
The report also reaffirmed that the new Apple TV is expected to boast the same A8 processor found in the current iPhone 6 series. But sources indicated that Apple will be able to push the chip even farther with a new dual-core configuration that is constantly plugged into the wall, with no need to worry about battery conservation as in an iPhone.
Earlier reports estimated the A8′s PowerVR graphics that are estimated to be about on par with a Sony PlayStation 3.
Panzarino also revealed that Siri support on the new Apple TV is said to be possible through a microphone on the device’s new touchpad controller. He expects the revamped controller will also include motion sensors that could put it on par with Nintendo’s Wii remote, and offer similar style gaming functionality.
All will be revealed at Apple’s media event on Sept. 9, where it is also expected to take the wraps off of its next-generation “iPhone 6s” series. AppleInsider will have full, live coverage from San Francisco.
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A deleted Amazon page for the upcoming Huawei Watch may add to evidence that Google is planning to make the Android Wear platform compatible with iOS devices.
The listing claimed that the Huawei Watch will ship Sept. 2, and be compatible not just with “most devices” running Android 4.3 or later but also iOS 8.2, according to The Verge. The wording leaves open the possibility of pairing with an iPad or iPod touch, although that would be of limited usefulness even on 4G-equipped iPads.
Previous rumors have pointed to Google working on iOS support for many months, but a device shipping with the technology as soon as Sept. 2 would come as a surprise announcement. The Amazon listing was presumably a mistake, whether in terms of its quoted release date, iOS compatibility, or being posted too early.
To bridge the gap between platforms, Google could release a companion iOS app capable of pushing notifications and Google Now cards to a watch, as well as processing voice commands. Some functions might be dependent on having other Google apps installed as well, such as Gmail.
Android Wear devices have sold relatively slowly, especially in light of Apple Watch estimates, but could gain a much larger audience if they were suddenly compatible with both major smartphone platforms. The Apple Watch is so far iPhone-exclusive, with no signs that an Android app is in the works.
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Electronics vendor Currys — in some places branded as Currys/PC World — may be the first third-party retail chain to sell the Apple Watch in the U.K., a report indicated on Friday.
The device is already showing up in Currys’ inventory system, Macrumors observed. Searching for the product on the company’s website displays a message that the device is “currently not available at Currys and PC World,” with the recommendation that shoppers browse other smartwatches instead.
Apple has been gradually expanding third-party Watch sales during August. The effort began with Best Buy in Canada and the U.S., but has since moved on to Myer and Harvey Norman in Australia, and most recently French electronics chain Fnac.
If Currys follows in the pattern of other third-party Watch rollouts, only a limited number of locations will have units at first.
The Watch was actually available through third-party stores when it launched back in late April, but stock was limited to a handful of luxury outlets scattered around the world. Apple itself began selling the Watch at retail in June, once inventory started to catch up with demand.
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48 Hour Deals: Gold 12" MacBook for $1,129.99 ($170 off), 13" MacBook Air (1.7GHz, 8GB, 512GB) for $1,249 ($500 off)
This week we have one more last minute back-to-school deal: the lowest price ever on Apple’s new Gold 12″ MacBook (1.1GHz/8GB/256GB) at $1,129.99 ($170 instant savings) plus a free 3-piece USB-C early adopter accessories kit, free software, free shipping, and no sales tax collected in 48 states.
$150 off Apple’s Gold MacBook
Valid until 8/30 Only: This offer from Apple authorized reseller Adorama and AI offers Apple’s new Gold 12″ MacBook (1.1GHz/8GB/256GB) model MK4M2LL/A for $1,129.99 when using the links in this article or our Price Guides and applying Promo Code APINSIDER during checkout. That’s the lowest price ever for this model by $70 and the current low by over $104, according our Price Guides. Or choose this same 12″ MacBook bundled with AppleCare for $1,279.99 ($268 off) after applying the same coupon code. Just follow the step-by-step instructions below to make sure you get these prices.
Update: BH has matched this price at $1,149.00.
As part of this offer, customers will also get the following include free accessories (worth over $200) with each order: 1) Apple USB-C to USB Adapter for MacBook, 2) LG Electronics GP50NB40 Super-Multi External DVD Rewriter with M-Disc, 3) Sabrent 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub with Power Switches and LEDs, and 4) Corel Digital Organization Creativity Suite for Mac. Each order also ships free with no sales tax collected if you live outside NY NJ.
Step-by-step Instructions for this Deal
- 1)Make sure you’re using a browser with cookies enabled that isn’t in private mode.
2) If you haven’t already, take a few moments register and log into an Adorama VIP account. (It’s painless, offers perks, is required for special promos like these.)
3) Once logged in, click this link for the 12″ Gold MacBook model MK4M2LL/A at $1,229.99 or this link for the same model with AppleCare included.
5) When the Adorama MacBook page loads, you’ll see a price that’s higher than advertised. Add it to your cart anyway and begin the checkout process.
6) During checkout, apply promo code APINSIDER in the Promo Code field right after your shipping info (where it says “Do you have a gift card or promo code?”)
7) After you apply the promo code, the price should fall to match the price currently advertised. Now complete your order and checkout.
That’s it. And if you live outside NY NJ, this will be your final charge price for this order, as Adorama will not collect sales tax on your order.
As always, if you have any issues, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try and help.
All other 12″ MacBooks
Readers looking for one of the other 12″ MacBooks should check out our Mac Price Guide this week, where a couple of Apple resellers are offering $100 discounts on select models. For 12″ MacBooks with AppleCare, Adorama is offering the lowest price across the board with the same promo code and instructions above (just use the pricing link of your choice from our Macs with AppleCare Price Guide during step 3) or check out this tutorial.
Apple’s 13″ MacBook Air (1.70GHz/8GB/512GB) for $1,249.00
Also in a similar price range and currently at the lowest price ever: Apple authorized reseller BH Photo offers Apple’s 13″ MacBook Air (1.70GHz/8GB/512GB) model MF068LL/A for $1,249.00 with Free Shipping, your choice of LoJack for Laptops Standard Edition (1-Year Subscription) or Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac, and no sales tax collected on orders shipped outside NY. That’s $500 off MSRP and the lowest price anywhere for this model by over $120, according to our Mac Price GuideThis is a closeout deal and limited to available supply. Once it sells out, it will not return.
Save $750: 15″ MacBook Pro (2.5GHz, 16GB, 512GB, 750M) with LG super drive and MS Bluetooth Mouse for $1,749
There’s also a few hours left (expires early on 8/28) on this absolutely rock-bottom deal: Apple Authorized reseller Adorama has just dropped the price of Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro (2.5GHz, 16GB, 512GB, 750M) model MGXC2LL/A to $1,749.00 ($750 off) with a free LG super drive, free Microsoft Bluetooth Comfort Mouse, free shipping and no sales tax collected outside NY NJ. Or get this same MacBook with AppleCare included for just $1,949 after this this $50 AppleCare rebate ($899 off). Please remember to first register and log into a free Adorama’s VIP customer account before adding this item to your cart or the deal won’t work. This deal is expected to expire sometime this evening or tomorrow morning.
Even more Back-to-School Deals
In addition to above, AppleInsider has teamed up with Apple authorized resellers to offer the lowest prices available anywhere on hundreds of other MacBooks, iMacs, iPads and other products. Many of these offers can be seen daily at deals.appleinsider.com and prices.appleinsider.com. Among some of the most popular current offers are:
How to get the lowest prices on all of Apple’s MacBooks for the 2015 back-to-school season
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AppleInsider podcast analyzes what to expect at Apple’s Sept. 9 event, Wall Street, ‘Apple Car,’ more
With Apple’s Sept. 9 keynote now official, the AppleInsider podcast explains everything you need to know ahead of the event, where new iPhones and a revamped Apple TV are expected. Plus, we tackle Apple’s recent losses on Wall Street, the latest “Apple Car” rumors, Shane reviews some tools for digital nomads, and Mikey and Neil share their experiences with the iOS-connected Coin digital credit card.
- What to expect from Apple’s Sept. 9 event
- Why did Apple rent out such a large venue this year?
- Shares of Apple tumble on Wall Street, and Tim Cook attempts to reverse it
- Apple Watch news: Coming to all Best Buy stores, plus rumored ‘smart bands’
- Apple keeps poaching Tesla employees. Is ‘Project Titan’ real?
- Shane reviews the OneAdaptr Twist Plus and Nimbus USB LED lamp
- Coin 2.0 is released, but Mikey and Neil have issues with the first-generation hardware
The show is available on iTunes and your favorite podcast apps by searching for “AppleInsider.” Click here to listen, subscribe, and don’t forget to rate our show.
You can also listen to it embedded via SoundCloud below:
Show note links:
- Apple announces Sept. 9 event for ‘iPhone 6s,’ updated Apple TV at massive new venue
- Apple can’t outrun China worries, stock drops into bear territory
- Tim Cook refutes China worries, calls Apple’s growth ‘strong’ in rare mid-quarter update
- Apple CEO Tim Cook could face SEC scrutiny for violating fair disclosure regulation
- Rumor: Apple working on ‘smart bands’ for Apple Watch to add new health tracking functions
- Apple, Best Buy alliance grows with more Apple Watch locations, expanded in-store service
- Apple hires senior Tesla engineer as ‘Project Titan’ evidence mounts
- Coin 2.0 credit card replacement announced with NFC tap-to-pay, free for existing Coin users
We’d appreciate your feedback and comments, as well as any questions that we can answer on future episodes. Send your responses to the AppleInsider podcast at email@example.com and follow or tweet at us @appleinsider.
Finally, anyone interested in sponsoring the show can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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