Apple launches iPad aimed at schools, Google


Today, Apple introduced multi-user support, allowing multiple students to use a single iPad.

Here's the catch: it's only available for schools.

Apple is also offering teachers and students 200 gigabytes of free storage in its iCloud service so they can access documents, photos and other digital content from any internet-connected device. Rumors suggested that Apple had a $259 price tag prepared for the new iPad. Again, this accessory is only for schools, but it does provide a ton of usefulness for its target market.

Last December, Apple announced it is working with CPS to expand a coding program to up to 500,000 students across the city.

When looked at as a school-wide initiative, iPad costs could quickly add up.

The new iPad doesn't include a Pencil or a keyboard, which significantly increases the price relative to the Chromebooks Apple has been competing with in educational markets. At $329 - the same price as the cheapest iPad - Google and Acer hope to bring the flexibility and versatility of the Chrome operating system to an even more portable device.

As you can imagine, Apple had a bunch of educational app demos and a couple might just have the potential to accelerate Cupertino's expansion into the heavily Google Chromebook dominated sector. Much of the information shared about the curriculum by Apple at its education event in Chicago today wasn't new.

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Nowadays, Google's Chromebooks own almost 60 percent of shipments into schools in the US, while iPad sales have just simply been decreasing over a 3-year timeframe.

The new addition 9.7-inch iPad also features an A10 Fusion computer chip that will deliver more multimedia-heavy experiences.

Here are the key specifications of Apple's new iPad compared with the previous cheapest iPad, which was released this time a year ago and which the new iPad replaces. Schoolwork and Classroom are created to help teachers and administrators get the most out of integrating Apple technology into schools.

The iPad will have Touch ID, an 8-megapixel rear camera (1080p video support), and a front-facing HD camera.

Software was a big part of the presentation.

Another nod towards the school sector is how the new iPad comes with new (and free) versions of Apple's iWork application suite, comprising Pages, Keynote and Number. So students can use AR apps like Boulevard to paint. Apple emphasized that the app keeps data private; it won't be uploaded to Apple. The new iPad is available now on Apple's website with an estimated home delivery of April 2 or 3.

Apple's thinking was simple: get students used to Macs while at school and college, and there's a good chance they'd choose one when it came to buying their own machines. Now, Google's budget-friendly Chromebook laptops occupy almost 60% of all devices in the classroom, according to research firm Futuresource.