The new iPad
Apple fights back against Google with new tech aimed at schools
Apple's latest iPad targets the education market.
Apple has updated the 9.7-inch iPad, augmented the iWork apps, and introduced new specialist software, all to appeal to the education market. The announcements came in a special event held on March 27th at Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago, Apple’s first education-targeted product launch since 2012.
The 9.7-inch iPad now supports Apple Pencil, comes with TouchID built-in, and is available in Silver, Space Gray, and a new Gold color, but the price is unchanged from the previous generation, starting at $329 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model ($299 for schools). Apple Pencil is available separately for $99 ($89 for schools), although it was also mentioned at the event that Logitech is introducing a new Crayon for $49, as well as a $99 Rugged Combo case and keyboard.
The Apple Pencil was previously supported only in iPad Pro models. Advanced sensors measure both pressure and tilt, with low latency, and the iPad’s palm rejection technology even makes it possible to rest your hand on the screen while using the Pencil.
The Wi-Fi+Cellular version of the new iPad features ultrafast LTE wireless (up to 300Mbps), which Apple says can deliver cellular data connections twice as fast as the previous iteration (network and carrier permitting).
Pages, Numbers, and Keynote have been updated with Apple Pencil support, enabling you to draw, sketch, or write with a Pencil directly in iWork documents, add color and texture to drawings and diagrams, and more.
A new Smart Annotation feature in Pages, introduced in beta, enables you to add comments and proof marks that are anchored to the text they are attached to.
Pages for iOS and macOS now offers eBook creation. You can create an interactive digital book using a variety of templates, then customize it using the new drawing tools or with image galleries and videos from your Photos library. You can collaborate in real time with classmates or colleagues to create books together on iPad, iPhone, Mac, and iCloud.com. Books can then be shared and will display beautifully in iBooks.
Additional new features include Presenter Mode in Pages on iPad or iPhone. The text can auto-scroll at an adjustable speed, with text size, spacing, font, and background color all customizable during text playback.
Integration with Box lets users collaborate in real time in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote documents stored in Box. GarageBand for iOS is also being updated, with new sound packs for students, and there will be a new version of Clips. The Apple presentation highlighted augmented reality apps for the classroom including Froggipedia by Designmate, which enables students to dissect a frog on the iPad. There will be a new AR module for Apple’s programming environment Swift Playgrounds.
Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for iOS and Mac are still free, and come preloaded on the new iPad. If you already have older versions of the apps, the updates are available to download from the App Store and Mac App Store.
Education sof tware
Everyone Can Create is a new, free curriculum coming this fall, which is designed to help teachers integrate drawing, filmmaking, music, or photography into their existing lesson plans for any subject. It includes free learning resources plus student and teaching guides. Beginning later this spring, Apple Stores will begin teaching Everyone Can Create as part of their regular Today at Apple sessions for educators. The new
curriculum joins Apple’s successful Everyone Can Code initiative to help teachers keep students engaged.
Apple also announced Schoolwork, a new app to help teachers create assignments, monitor student progress, and manage apps in the classroom. Teachers can, for example, assign a specific activity within an iPad app and direct students straight to the specific point within the app. Popular education apps like Nearpod, Tynker, and Kahoot are already integrating support for Schoolwork.
Schoolwork builds on the success of Apple’s Classroom app, which teachers use to manage student iPads, guide students, and share work. With Classroom, teachers can launch apps, books, and web pages on all student devices in a class at once, or send and receive documents. They can view student screens during class to help students stay focused, assign shared iPads to specific students for class, and even reset a student’s password. Apple announced that Classroom is coming to the Mac in June.
Finally, any teacher or student with a Managed Apple ID will now get a hefty 200GB of free iCloud
Mac|Life sa ys
All these highly targeted innovations come because Apple, for many decades dominant in the US education market, has in recent years lost ground to Chromebooks. Google has exploited the popularity of its cheap always-connected laptops among students, creating dashboards and control software for teachers and school administrators, constructing a kind of education ecosystem of its own. Apple needed to fight back, and is doing so by offering its own education ecosystem, which builds on its historic strengths, including its existing library of 200,000 education apps on the App Store, and adds features such as shared iPads and management software, taking on Google on key points. Apple executives are emphasizing explicitly, in case anyone missed the point, that the enhanced iPad “is more powerful than a Chromebook or PC.” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at March’s event that education has always been an important focus at Apple over its 40-plus-year history; it certainly looks serious about education now.
storage, a significant jump from the previous 5GB.
Students and teachers now get more free iCloud storage.