Apple Has Education Focused Event To Unveil New iPad And Other Education Focused Items

Apple held its first 2018 product launch event at Lane Tech College Prep School in Chicago. The location isn’t an accident as the event focused on education. Something that has traditionally been a focus for Apple in the past, but not so much in the last few years. Now there was no livestream of the event, though a video was promised after the event. But via some live blogging and tweeting, I was able to find out what Apple announced in almost real time:

  • A new 9.7-inch iPad with Touch ID was announced. And interestingly enough, it supports the Apple Pencil which is clearly aimed at the education market. Specs include 8-megapixel rear camera, FaceTime HD front camera, A10 Fusion chip, up to 10 hours of battery life, Touch ID, up to 300 Mbps LTE, GPS and Compass, Apple Pencil support, stereo speakers, accelerometer, and gyroscope. Oh yeah it weighs 1 pound. It’s priced at $329 USD for consumers, $299 USD for schools. So you get more power at the same price point as the previous iPad. The new 9.7-inch iPad is available today and ships later this week.
  • Apple is updating its iWork suite with new versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote that support Apple Pencil. For example, you can use Apple Pencil to add drawings to reports in Pages or Keynote. This update is coming “soon.” And it will be preloaded on iPads free of charge.
  • GarageBand for iOS also getting updated with new sound packs for students. And there will be a new version of Clips as well.
  • Pages will also integrate a facility to make digital books for classrooms. Previously, teachers required a Mac with iBooks Author to do this. Now, it’ll be built into the Pages app. Book authors can include photos, videos, graphics from Apple Pencil and more. Book authoring can be created collaboratively as a group project. Teachers can annotate sent in documents to mark work.
  • Apple will now offer students 200GB of iCloud storage for free, up from 5GB previously.
  • To assist teachers in terms of better leveraging Apple tech, Apple debuted its Classroom app for Mac which will be available in beta this June. Apple also introduces Schoolwork, a new, free cloud-based app designed for assigning handouts and tracking student progress. Schoolwork will also be available in June. Apps integrate with it via Apple’s new ClassKit framework. Oh yeah, Apple also announced ClassKit which is part of iOS 11.3.
  • Swift Playgrounds is getting a new augmented reality module. Likely to fit in with Apple’s larger push into AR via ARKit.
  • Apple is putting together a brand new curriculum called “Everyone Can Create.” Everyone Can Create will be focused on four areas: music, video, photography, and drawing. Everyone Can Create is available for preview starting today. More content will be added to the curriculum this summer.

Now this is what was announced. There’s likely going to be other stuff that “pops up” today. Watch this post for updates. Particularly after 1PM EST today which is when Apple likes to release software updates. I’ll also update this post when the video becomes available for you to see.

UPDATE: The opening video that was used in today’s event is now posted:

UPDATE #2: Apple’s online store was down as usual during today’s event. But it’s come back up now.

UPDATE #3: A new video for the new iPad and Apple Pencil support has been posted:

UPDATE #4: The update to Garageband for iOS that was mentioned in the event is now available. The new GarageBand seems to have ARKit support if you have an iPhone X along with new sounds and effects.

UPDATE #5: Another new video has been posted. This time it’s about how Apple envisions homework.

UPDATE #6: It appears that Clips for iOS has been updated too with new fonts, colors, layouts, animated labels and stickers etc.

UPDATE #7: It seems that Apple will release updates to iWork on both macOS and iOS today based on this press release.

UPDATE #8: Updates to iWork on both macOS and iOS are now available.

UPDATE #9: The full video has now been posted on Apple’s website.

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