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Aug 29 2015 12:25AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

The next Apple TV is set to be revealed at Apple's next big media event on September 9, if you believe the rumors, and the latest batch claims that it'll feature some spiffy motion-sensing technology that could make it a big hit with casual gamers. Meanwhile, Apple and other companies are joining up with the Pentagon to create "flexible hybrid electronics," and it looks like we're stuck with 16GB baseline iPhones for another year.

Next Apple TV Said to Have Motion-Sensitive Remote

Rumors that the next big Apple TV will support motion-sensing technology have been around since 2010, but they resurfaced again in a report from TechCrunch detailing new aspects about the feature mere weeks ahead of the device's expected reveal. The motion control itself will center on a redesigned remote with the touchpad and Siri support we've all heard so much about it, but the report notes that insider sources claim that it'll have "several axis’ worth of sensors that put its control on par with a Nintendo Wii remote."

The report suggests that Apple likely aims to use the features to attract "the broad casual gaming market" but notes that it also allows the possibility of innovative gameplay. The design would also fare well for multiplayer gaming, as the players involved could use the built-in voice support, and the Apple TV would provide a better home for party games that are a tad too awkward to use on the iPad on the iPhone.

While the motion capabilities of the device are the highlight of the article, the report also cites anonymous sources who note that the combination of the device's "polish, polish, polish," its own App Store, and other factors will "blow away the types of junky smart TV interfaces we’ve had to deal with so far." The changes are so extensive, apparently, that they end Apple TV's long designation as a "hobby" and elevate it into "the first real Apple TV product."

If that's all true, the debut of the new Apple TV would have been even more impressive with the inclusion of Apple's long-rumored streaming TV service, but multiple reports claim that it's being held up by negotiations. The latest report in that regard comes from The Information's Jessica Lessin (via AppleInsider), who said in a letter to subscribers this morning that Apple's rumored $40 monthly fee for the service is the main sticking point. It's apparently simply too low for the content makers to want to bite, and thus it might be a bit higher when (and if) the service ever sees the light of day.

"There's still a big gap between the price media companies want for their TV channels and the roughly $40 a month Apple wants to charge consumers," Lessin wrote in her letter. "Something has to give."


Apple Teaming Up with Pentagon to Make Military Wearable Tech

The Apple Watch, it seems, was only the beginning: The Cupertino company's wearable technology might soon be coming to a soldier near you. According to a new report from Reuters, Apple is one of 162 tech companies teaming up with the Pentagon in order to make high-tech, stretchable and wearable electronics for soldiers in order to keep track of their vitals. In the future, the Pentagon expects warplanes and warships will use the same technology in their hulls order to monitor their structural integrity in real time.

Above: Silicon Valley's Ames Research Center (via Wikipedia)

The San Jose-based group goes by the name of the FlexTech Alliance, and it includes several other powerhouse companies and organizations such as Boeing and Harvard. The project will reportedly receive around $171 million in funding over the next five years to further develop "flexible hybrid electronics," with $90 million of that coming from Apple and its partner companies and $75 million coming from the federal government. The remainder will come from local governments.

"I’ve been pushing the Pentagon to think outside our five-sided box and invest in innovation here in Silicon Valley and in tech communities across the country," U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at NASA's Ames Research Center as he awarded the project the government's share of the funding.

Interestingly enough, the news comes on the same day that Politico ran an article on how current Apple CEO Tim Cook has embraced Washington politics. Steve Jobs famously shunned it.


'Leaked' Photo Suggests 16GB Baseline Units for iPhone 6s, 6s Plus

Many commentators had hoped that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus would be the last iPhones to start out with 16GB of storage, but in line with earlier rumors, a newly "leaked" photo of an information sheet for the upcoming devices suggests that might not be the case (via Steve Hemmerstoffer). Even in this digital storage hungry world, it appears that the base models for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will feature 16GB of storage.

There's always a chance, of course, that some bored guy faked the photo or that it merely represents an earlier stage of Apple's production process that has since been abandoned. It's possible, yes, but at this stage it seems like wishful thinking.

Apple is widely expected to reveal the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus at the media event on September 9 Apple announced yesterday. While the devices likely won't look terribly different from their current counterparts on the surface, they're expected to sport much better cameras, Force Touch technology, improved cellular connectivity, and stronger aluminum for the exteriors. The devices are also expected to come in a new "rose gold" color and to support animated lock screen wallpapers in the style of the "Motion" watch faces for the Apple Watch.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Aug 28 2015 11:42PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

After years of being available on the developer’s website and Steam Early Access, Kerbal Space Program is finally available as a full release on Mac. Part space sim, part sandbox management, Kerbal Space Program is extremely ambitious. It’s not jaw-dropping to look at, but that’s easy to forget when you see the wide-eyed awe on the faces of your pilots as you launch.

Kerbal Space Program takes place on a planet similar to Earth, except its inhabitants are little green aliens sharing the last name “Kerbin.” It’s your job to build up the game’s meager space program: managing employees, taking contracts, researching technology, and building aircraft and spacecraft, among other things. It’s an overwhelming number of things to manage, so KSP offers three modes: Sandbox, which has no restrictions on inventory; Science, in which data is gathered and funds aren’t an issue; and Career. Career Mode is the heart of KSP, starting you with very little money and not much inventory to build ships from. As you collect data, research new things, and conquer goals, you’ll gain access to better parts, smarter crew members, and upgraded buildings.

Once you successfully build a craft and make it out of orbit into space (no small feat in itself) the space sim portion kicks in. It’s up to you to control your ship, aiming for regions unknown, new planets, or getting into orbit. There are tutorials outside of the core game, but once you’re in Career Mode there are no training wheels, and a more organic training process would have been helpful. There’s a lot of patience required, and trial and error involved in just figuring out how not to blow up your ship and kill your pilot a few hundred meters in the air.

Even after years in development, Kerbal Space Program has its fair share of technical difficulties. Multiple freezes and crashes to desktop make it hard to progress, and less serious glitches are distracting. Despite these issues, there’s definitely something engaging about it. You might find yourself building better spacecraft in your head when you’re not playing, or saying “Just one more launch” over and over again.

The bottom line. A great blend of micromanagement and spaceflight, but it’s marred by tech issues.

Review Synopsis


Kerbal Space Program







Mac running OS X 10.6 or later, Intel processor, 3GB memory, 512MB graphics, 1GB HDD


Incredibly deep interaction. Effortlessly combines management and simulation aspects.


Freezes and crashes aren’t ideal. Training is dull but necessary.

Aug 28 2015 10:04PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Aug 28 2015 9:14PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

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Aug 28 2015 8:16PM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
A turn-based Tomb Raider game? Sounds crazy, but the Hitman Go formula totally works for this winning Lara Croft adventure.

Aug 28 2015 6:46PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

We got games that are double the fun here, as the sale extends across your iOS device platform and hooks you up whether you want a sale on the iPhone version or the iPad one. So if you're looking for one app or two, the price is right when it's free -- as so many of this week's deals are. So let's double our pleasure, double our fun and dive right in.

Aug 28 2015 3:29PM EST | Source: Geek.com
After two years of serving as Apple's entry-level smartphone, it's time for the 5c to make way for a replacement, but it's not the 6c.

Aug 27 2015 11:55PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Apple has at last announced the date for its next big media event and, well, it's going to take place on the date we've all been saying it was going to take place on for months now. In addition, Apple is said to be bringing some spiffy animated wallpapers to the "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus."

Apple to Hold Next iPhone/Apple TV Event on September 9

And so the rumor mill is right again. Apple sent out invitations this morning stating that, yes, the next Apple media event will be held at 10AM PDT on Wednesday, September 9 at San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, where Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple II in 1977. The invitation's message is both simple and vague: "Hey Siri, give us a hint."

In addition, Windows users will be able to join in on the festivities live for the first time ever this year, as the Cupertino company's page for the event notes that you can stream it on September 9 "on a PC with Edge on Windows 10." As usual, of course, you can also watch the event on Apple TV or through the Safari browser on a Mac or iOS device.

There's always a chance Apple could surprise us, but there have been plenty of trustworthy "hints" from the rumor mill that suggest that Apple will at last unveil the so-called iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus at the event. Both devices are expected to be be made from stronger aluminum than their immediate predecessors, and they're expected to feature Force Touch, an improved camera, 2GB of RAM, and an A9 processor.

Apple is also expected to use the event to unveil the next generation of the Apple TV, which is expected to have Siri support (which likely explains the invitation's tagline), its own App Store, a touch-based remote control, and an A8 processor. Apple isn't expected to announce its long-awaited subscription-based streaming TV service at the event, though, as negotiations are supposedly still bogged down.

For a bit of fun, saying "Hey Siri, give me a hint" to Siri does, in fact, reveal a set of customized responses. Unfortunately, the hints are no more helpful than "Well, I hear there's something big happening on September 9" and our personal favorite: "Why don't you check a rumors blog? That's what I do."

Ouch, Siri.


iPhone 6s and 6s Plus May Have Apple Watch-Like Animated Wallpapers

Fittingly enough, the pace of rumors hasn't slowed down even with the next Apple media event on the near horizon. The latest rumor passed along from insider sources to 9to5Mac claims that the so-called iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will feature new animated wallpapers in the style of the "Motion" watch faces for the Apple Watch. Each time a user wakes up his or her phone, they'll be treated to watching the wallpaper dynamically change based on their interactions.

Source: cnBeta

Some of the wallpapers seem based off the static backgrounds that showed up in the beta for iOS 9 earlier in the month, such as smoky clouds with different colors and a school of koi. The koi, in fact, seems to lend some credence to a "leaked" photo of the box for the iPhone 6s Plus that appeared on the Chinese site cnBeta this morning. Some inconsistencies with Apple's earlier iPhone packaging led some commentators to doubt its authenticity, but as the box depicts a koi fish on the front, it could be a way to tie-in the packaging with this new feature.

Dynamic wallpapers already exist to a degree on the current iPhones, but their complexity doesn't come close to matching that of the motion watch faces for the Apple Watch. At the moment, there's no word as to whether we'll get to put the snazzy new wallpapers on older iPhones, but it seems unlikely in light of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus's allegedly better processor and extra RAM. In fact, the static images we saw in the iOS 9 beta might be as close as we get.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Aug 27 2015 11:43PM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
Mirrativ lets you stream games and more directly from your phone or tablet.

Aug 27 2015 10:27PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

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Aug 27 2015 7:22PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

We're looking at the biggies this week: Apple's top-of-the-line jumbo-sized models. So if you've got an iMac hankering, you've come to the right place. And, as always, we'll have a collection of gadgets and goodies to go along with your new big Mac to make things run smoothly as can be. You can even save some dough on a brand-new Apple Watch!

Aug 27 2015 6:51PM EST | Source: Geek.com
You probably know at least one person whose smartphone is attached to their hand at all times. They’re tweeting, or Instagramming, or Facebooking, playing CCGs, or doing whatever else is popular rather than […]

Aug 27 2015 5:30PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

SmartDown is a full-featured Markdown text editor with syntax highlighting and HTML previewing, offering export to RTF, HTML, and PDF. Plain Markdown is supported, along with MultiMarkdown for things like tables, and Critic Markup for tracking changes. Light/dark themes are available, as well as your own; every aspect of syntax highlighting is customizable, and you can add your own CSS for Markdown preview.

Writers are well served, with statistics on words, sentences, pages, and reading time; you can even specify a word-count goal, and SmartDown will show your progress. It takes Markdown syntax into account when counting words, and it offers a Highlight Mode, where all but the current sentence or paragraph is dimmed. You can also do basic outlining in your Markdown file. Headings can be collapsed/expanded, using arrows in the document gutter, and there’s a floating tooltip marking the section. You can even export your work as an OPML file.

There are some handy editing tools, like shortcuts to move lines and a right-click palette of Markdown-insertion options. 

The bottom line. SmartDown is ideal for planning, organizing and writing documents in Markdown. Extensive customization options add to the appeal.

Review Synopsis









Mac running OS X 10.9 or later


Completely customizable Markdown syntax highlighting and previewing. Outlining, with collapsible headings and OPML export. Useful statistics, goals, and tools for writers.


Some rough edges in interface and keyboard shortcut support.

Aug 27 2015 3:00PM EST | Source: Geek.com
LG Rolly Keyboard
Portable keyboards are quite a popular edition to a mobile workers bag. Typing on a touchscreen has improved greatly in recent years, but it still doesn’t compare to tapping away on real, physical […]

Aug 27 2015 1:29PM EST | Source: Geek.com
This pair will hit the streets as the Lumia 950 and 950XL.

Aug 27 2015 12:26AM EST | Source: MacLife.com

At last, Apple has started selling third-party Apple Watch accessories in its stores, although the selection is currently severely limited. In other news, we finally get to see the movie poster for the Steve Jobs biopic that's been in the news for months, and Apple CEO Tim Cook received an, ahem, agreeable amount of Apple shares for his recent performance as CEO.

Apple Starts Selling Third-Party Apple Watch Accessories in Stores

As a part of Apple's continuing redesign of its retail experience, the Cupertino company today started selling third-party accessories for the Apple Watch in its stores. As noted by MacRumors, the first product available is ElevationLab's $29.95 NightStand, which serves as both a charger and an alarm clock.

ElevationLab originally only offered the NightStand in blue, black, and red, but as a result of its new direct partnership with Apple, it's now also possible to get the unit in pink, blue, green, black, and white (in Apple stores only) — specifically, the exact colors used for the Apple Watch Sport band. The device is also one of the few third-party devices so far to take advantage of watchOS 2's upcoming Nightstand Mode, which turns the Apple Watch into an alarm clock while it's charging.

Source: MacRumors

Sources claim that the device is the only third-party Apple Watch accessory available for purchase in an Apple retail store at the moment, but that might change next month.

As an aside, the report also notes that Apple has indeed removed that iPad "smart signs" that used to provide pricing and information for products like iPads, iPhones, and Macs throughout the store; now, instead, you'll have to take the slightly more awkward step of opening a dedicated pricing app to find out how much the device you're handling actually costs.

Movie Poster for Danny Boyle's Steve Job Biopic Revealed

Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs biopic is rapidly approaching its October wide release date, and now we even have an official poster for the highly anticipated film. The poster is designed with the same minimalist, white-space heavy design Apple products are known for, and it also recalls the cover of the bestselling Walter Isaacson biography the film is based on. As a bonus, it features actor Michael Fassbender looking a little more like Steve Jobs than usual.

The film itself will first be shown as the highlight of the New York Film Festival on Saturday, October 3. Michael Fassbender stars in the title role, but the film also stars Kate Winslet in the role of former Mac marketing chief Joanna Hoffman, Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as former Apple CEO John Sculley.

The film focuses on the action backstage on the eve of three major Apple product launches: the original Macintosh in 1984, the NeXT Computer, and the iMac.


Tim Cook Receives Performance-Based Award of $58 million in Apple Stock

Tim Cook just had a very good Monday, according to a new report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (via AppleInsider). As rewards for his tenure and performance, the Apple CEO received 560,000 vested restricted Apple stock units, which roughly amounts to a value of $58 million based on Apple's current stock price. Cook didn't sell any of the vested restricted stock units, and Apple reportedly withheld 290,836 units in order to stay within minimum statutory tax withholding requirements.

According to the filing, Apple's total shareholder return (TSR) had to fall within the top third of the Standard & Poor 500 in order for Cook to receive the stock. Apple ranked 46th, which was within the 90th percentile. Had Apple only reached the middle third, Cook would have received only 50 percent of the given award. If Apple had ranked in the bottom third, Cook wouldn't have received any restricted Apple stock units at all.

But, of course, he did well, and that brings his total current stock to approximately 1.17 million AAPL shares, with an additional 4.76 million set to vest in 700,000-unit batches in 2016 and 2021. Also, 1.68 million more will vest in six annual installments beginning in August of 2016.

In line with Cook's stated desire to make Apple "a force for good," Cook stated last year that he plans to give his entire fortune away once he pays for the college education of his young nephew.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Aug 27 2015 12:08AM EST | Source: CNET Android Atlas
Load links in the background while you're using another app, keeping you focused and saving time.

Aug 26 2015 11:42PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Aug 26 2015 10:00PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

[This is an advertorial. Maclife gets a portion of each unit sold.]

The skies don't have to be a mystery - all you need is the right tools to master the art of flight, such as your very own drone. The popular flying devices are a blast to play with, but have function beyond just fun. You can take a look at the best drones fit to fly and get one that fits your needs and budget in our Deals tab.

Snowflake Drone: $39.99

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Code Black Drone: $99

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SKEYE Mini Drone: $64.99


Remote control toys have really taken a step forward in the awesome category over the last few years, and the SKEYE Mini Drone is all the proof you'll need. Six-axis stabilization and precision-control steering makes it easy to navigate the skies Get it for just $64.99. 

Striker Spy HD-Camera Drone: $69.99


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