Apple just introduced a new iPad while at a school in Chicago.
Ever since the company invited the media to attend its Field Trip launch event, we assumed whatever it had in store would be geared toward students and children in the education market. CEO Tim Cook has just taken the stage and revealed several iPad statistics, including that the most popular iPad is the 9.7-inch iPad, which is currently available to schools for $299. But he's offering them a new 9.7-inch option now.
In a video introduction that Apple is showing on stage, we can see a new iPad with a Touch ID button, camera, and support for Apple Pencil. We also see new versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote - all of which support Apple Pencil. "Kids have a whole new way to showcase what they’re learning," Apple has explained, as it emphasises how children can use its devices and apps - rather than Google's - to collaborate.
We also saw in the video how teachers can make "digital books creations" for their classroom using the iPad. ”We’re building it right into Pages," Apple said. These books can include photos, videos, Apple Pencil illustrations, and more. iPad users can also make a book for a group project and collaborate with others on it. As for the new iPad itself, Apple waited until after its video introduction to get to the meat of it.
The new iPad features a 9.7-inch display, A10 Fusion chip, 8-megapixel rear camera, HD FaceTime camera, 10 hours of battery, LTE option, and sensors like GPS Compass. It also has TouchID and weighs just one pound. It also supports Apple's AR platorm, ARKit, so students and kids can use third-party AR apps like Boulevard to paint. They can also use Free Rivers to look at an environment on a table, for instance.
Another app on display at the show was Forggipedia, which lets you look at the insides of a frog. Yes, you can use an iPad and Apple Pencil to dissect a frog in AR now. Apple said schools can order the new iPad for $299, and it'll ship this week. Consumers, however, will have to pay $329 for 32GB base model. In the UK, it starts at £319. If you want the Wi-Fi and Cellular model, it's £449. Pencil is not included.
New versions of GarageBand and Clips were also shown off, as was a new School Manager app for schools to manage multiple users - and Apple IDs - on a single device. Apple also spent time showcasing Schoolwork, a new app that helps teachers create assignments and view student progress. It features Handouts, a way to create and send assignments, and it's part of a "rich ecosystem" of education apps for iPad.
Apple said it's also upping the free iCloud storage allotment for students to 200GB from 5GB. And finally, Apple showed off a new rugged Logitech case and keyboard, as well as Crayon, a $49 third-party stylus. As for Apple's own Pencil, it is available separately for $99/£89.
Here's a summary of the new iPad's specs and features:
- 9.7-inch Retina display (2048x1536 resolution; No True Tone)
- 32GB and 128GB capacities
- Apple Pencil support
- Bluetooth keyboard support (no Smart Keyboard)
- 8-megapixel rear-facing camera ƒ/2.4 aperture
- 1.2-megapixel HD FaceTime camera
- TouchID fingerprint scanner (No Face ID)
- 10 hours of battery life
- Sensors (Three-axis gyro; Accelerometer; Barometer; Ambient light)
- Runs iOS 11
- Support for Apple's ARKit
- Education apps that include a School Manager and Schoolwork.
- Updated iWork apps (they support Pencil annotations, too)
- Free 200GB iCloud storage for students
Check out Pocket-lint's initial review of the device from here.