Thoughts on Apple’s Education Event

Apple just wrapped up its education event in Chicago. I have some thoughts:

New iPad

The star of today’s show is the new 9.7-inch iPad. Priced at the same $329 ($299 for schools), this new iPad comes with the A10 Fusion CPU and support for the Apple Pencil, which is still sold separately, even for schools.

This new iPad does not include the Smart Connector, so schools who want to use it with a keyboard are still stuck with Bluetooth.

I think this is a great iPad for consumers. In fact, I’m going to be ordering one to replace the cracked 9.7-inch iPad Pro my wife currently uses.1 The gap between this and the current crop of iPad Pro models is smaller than ever. Sadly, the screen doesn’t seem to be laminated still, but oh well.

However, I don’t think it moves the needle much in terms of Apple’s hardware strategy when it comes to Chromebooks.

iWork Updates

iWork for iOS now supports the Apple Pencil. As I rarely use either product, I was shocked to learn they didn’t work together already.

The bigger news is that iBooks Author is showing up on the iPad for the first time, albeit part of Pages. I believe the app will continue to be a stand-alone title on the Mac, but that’s a little unclear.

Apple still hasn’t taken on collaboration in these apps in a way that really answers what Google can do in Docs and Sheets.

New School Apps

Apple showed off a mix of old and new apps designed for schools. I’m looking forward to hearing how teachers like them when they eventually ship.

Apple did announce that iCloud accounts for students will now come with 200 GB of free storage, up from the 5 GB consumer accounts are granted. That feels like a big deal.

No Macs

No cheaper MacBook Air; no new entry-level notebook. In fact, the Mac barely got a mention at all.

Press Releases

Here’s all the PR related to the event:

  1. I’ll be snagging the $429 128 GB model for her