Wednesday Morning News
Apple’s education-centric event in Chicago has all wrapped up, and you’d be crazy to think there weren’t a bunch of education-focused announcements. For starters, Apple has introduced a new Everyone Can Create curriculum so teachers can integrate new methods of creative learning into their existing lesson plans. There’s a couple of parts to it, which are broken down by MacStories; Schoolwork is a new app that helps teachers manage student learning on iPad — Apple’s own learning management system, if you will — with a Mac version of the existing Classroom app coming later this year, and a new ClassKit framework and API for developers to create educational third-party apps.
In terms of hardware, Apple announced an updated 9.7-inch iPad, which now comes with support for the Apple Pencil. It’s no cheaper than the previous version, coming in at the $469 base price for the 32GB model without 4G (and $669 with), and apart from now coming with an A10 chip, it’s pretty much exactly the same as the previous model. Only with, you know, the much-coveted Apple Pencil support, which works exactly like it does on the iPad Pro. There’s also a 128GB version available, which will set you back $599 or $799, if you want 4G.
In other software news, Apple remembered iWork is a thing. A substantial update to iWork across all platforms adds Apple Pencil support, to all platforms where the Apple Pencil supported. And while all the iWork apps get a new Markup toolset and Smart Annotations that stay attached to the words you put them on, Pages gets new book creation capabilities, becoming the spiritual successor to Apple’s iBooks Author app which is now no longer supported. Oh, and iWork’s real-time collaborative features, previously only available for documents stored in iCloud, now work for documents stored in Box.
AppleInsider takes on a screenshot walkthrough of Apple’s new Apple Teacher portal. It’s a refreshed resource portal for teachers to go and learn about how they can make Apple’s software work for their classroom, whether that’s the existing Classroom app, the new Schoolwork, or even managing Apple IDs for students.
Speaking of Apple IDs, managed Apple IDs for teachers and students now get 200GB of iCloud storage for free. Six Colors points out that while Apple’s competitors also only offer 5GB of online storage for free accounts, the $1.49 monthly fee that Apple wants us to pay for 50GB of storage seems like something they don’t particularly need, but are charging just for the hell of it.
Logitech’s appearance at Apple’s education event was to show off their iPad keyboard case, like that hasn’t already been done a million times before, and also something a little more interesting in the form of the Crayon. It’s a stylus that uses all the same technologies as the Apple Pencil for low-latency, tilt sensitivity, and palm rejection, but with no pressure sensitivity and compatibility only with the cheaper iPad. That last point seems particularly weird, to me, but it’s not as if it matters as Logitech aren’t selling the Crayon to the public at this time, anyway.
If you wanted Mac news from Apple’s March event, then here it is: the Space Grey accessories from the iMac Pro are now available to buy separately. Apple are currently charging a $30-39 premium over the non-Space Grey versions, but presumably they also come with a Space Grey Lightning cable, which might be worth the extra dollars. Hopefully you sold your original Space Grey iMac Pro accessories on eBay for a higher markup than that before today.
There are also new iPhone and iPad cases in new and bright Spring colours, along with official availability of the new Apple Watch bands that were announced last week.
Two new Apple videos wrap up this morning’s news, with one showing off the iPad working with the Apple Pencil like the iPad Pro hasn’t already had this feature for years, and the other telling us about the potential of children to change the world.