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Apple To Unveil a Cheaper iPad Next Week At Its Educational Event 78

Apple is holding an education-focused event on Tuesday where it's expected to launch a "low-cost iPad" alongside new education software. The goal is to win back students and teachers who have adopted similar products/services from rivals Google and Microsoft. Bloomberg reports: In its first major product event of the year, Apple will return to its roots in the education market. The event on Tuesday at Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago will mark the first time Apple has held a product launch geared toward education since 2012 when it unveiled a tool for designing e-books for the iPad. It's also a rare occasion for an Apple confab outside its home state of California. In Chicago, the world's most-valuable technology company plans to show off a new version of its cheapest iPad that should appeal to the education market, said people familiar with the matter. The company will also showcase new software for the classroom, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private plans. Apple declined to comment.
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Apple To Unveil a Cheaper iPad Next Week At Its Educational Event

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  • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Friday March 23, 2018 @09:56PM (#56317209)

    Now that there's nothing more these tablets need to do, technologically speaking, they really need to start coming down in price.

    Actually, I think it will be the same with smartphones reasonably soon. We've probably hit a technological peak of sorts, where there are literally no more substantial gains to be had by making smartphones more powerful. My prediction is that we'll see the high-end phones hover at the $1000 mark for a while, but they'll start sliding back down, as people simply don't see any added value for the minor improvements with each new model.

    Oh, the phone makers will fight this kicking and screaming, of course, but I think competitive pressure will probably win out over the next five to ten years, especially as the novelty factor wears off for most people.

    • by Teckla ( 630646 )

      Now that there's nothing more these tablets need to do, technologically speaking, they really need to start coming down in price.

      I wish I could develop real iOS apps on my iPad. :(

      Lack of mouse support really sucks, too...

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        You can develop real Android apps on an Android tablet using AIDE. If iOS as a host or target is an important feature to you, what features are you missing in Swift Playgrounds?

        • by Teckla ( 630646 )
          I was under the impression Swift Playgrounds was for learning the basics of Swift and not a development environment that could be used to create first class iOS applications.
          • And I was under the impression that since the upgrade from Swift Playgrounds 1.0 to Swift Playgrounds 2.0, one could develop applications and test them on the iPad. From Apple's page about the product [apple.com]:

            Swift Playgrounds also gives you access to iOS frameworks such as UIKit, SpriteKit, SceneKit, Bluetooth, and Metal. And because you are coding and running your playgrounds on iPad, your code can respond to touch gestures or interact with hardware such as the accelerometer and gyroscope.
            [...]
            With access to thou

      • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Saturday March 24, 2018 @12:33AM (#56317617)

        That's just a matter of software, not hardware capabilities. That being said...

        If you're attaching a keyboard and mouse to a tablet, aren't you pretty much acknowledging that what you really need is a laptop and not a tablet? We've seen several well-publicized, failed attempts at merging mouse and touch paradigms. I'm not sure why you have such faith that Apple could pull this off where everyone else so far has failed miserably.

        • We've seen several well-publicized, failed attempts at merging mouse and touch paradigms.
          You have some links for that?

          AFAICT mouse and touch works exactly the same ...

        • by Teckla ( 630646 )

          That's just a matter of software, not hardware capabilities.

          I agree. When you said "technologically speaking," I wasn't sure if you were talking about hardware, software, or both. I agree that modern tablet hardware is more than capable these days.

          If you're attaching a keyboard and mouse to a tablet, aren't you pretty much acknowledging that what you really need is a laptop and not a tablet?

          I don't think so. For example, I frequently use my Bluetooth keyboard with my tablet. The tablet still does everything I need (for certain use cases). The keyboard just makes some things much easier. Like typing this comment. :)

          We've seen several well-publicized, failed attempts at merging mouse and touch paradigms. I'm not sure why you have such faith that Apple could pull this off where everyone else so far has failed miserably.

          Honestly, I think Apple could pull it off, but I don't think they will. They're too stubborn to

          • For example, I frequently use my Bluetooth keyboard with my tablet. The tablet still does everything I need (for certain use cases). The keyboard just makes some things much easier. Like typing this comment. :)

            Fair enough. At some point, the differences are more about convention. By convention, I tend to think of tablets as mostly a media consumption device, and a laptop as a production device, but if that's really only because of the lack of a keyboard.

            But maybe you're right -- maybe it's not feasible to have a good touch interface and a good mouse interface on a single device. I'm not really sure.

            A mouse has greater precision, can hover, use multiple buttons, and has independent scrolling. So as long as you're willing to forgo those capabilities, you can certainly create an interface that uses both. But the catch is, I think, that you'll always need to

            • by Teckla ( 630646 )
              Good thoughts. I think you might be right. The only "solution" might be to be able to switch back and forth between "tablet mode" apps and "laptop mode" apps or something. A lot of extra UI work would be involved for each application... It'll be interesting to see where things go from here!
        • The Microsoft Surface did a good job merging laptop and tablet, in that I've seen people comfortably use it both ways for real work and for play. NB: It's mostly artists, who love the ability to draw on the screen.

      • BlueTooth mice work perfectly fine on iOS.

    • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday March 23, 2018 @11:28PM (#56317503) Journal
      The surprising thing about Apple isn't their relative unwillingness to cut prices; that's what left them reaping most of the profit in laptops and mobile devices and something will really have to scare them to get them to try to compete on price with random plasticky Chromebooks. The surprising thing is how unconcerned they seem to be by the fact that managing the damn things is miserable, labor intensive, and relatively costly.

      For device management, iOS MDM is somewhat less dismal than Android MDM(fewer OS versions; no vendor specific 'does this depend on Samsung Knox?' nonsense); but for account management Apple IDs have stubbornly remained close to their roots as something that individuals set up, for themselves and by themselves; and iOS devices remain close to their roots as either single-user devices or single-app kiosk widgets. They have slowly made incremental concessions to management over time; but mostly in a direction that suggests that BYOD is the preferred use case; which is very, very, not interchangeable with 'organization owned and operated'.

      Managing a whole bunch of Google Apps (for business or for education, architecturally pretty much the same thing) is downright trivial by comparison; either through their interface or with AD synchronization if you are doing an implementation alongside some amount of Windows infrastructure. It is...not impressive...that Google plays better with Microsoft's directory infrastructure than iOS plays with OSX's(to the degree that that even exists anymore, with OSX 'server' being allowed to bleed out in a corner somewhere).
    • Re: Good (Score:5, Informative)

      by datavirtue ( 1104259 ) on Saturday March 24, 2018 @12:39AM (#56317623)

      The 12" iPad Pro is amazing and what I would consider the bare minimum at $800-900. I bought one for my son who is able to create impeccable art without any technological distractions. I am not an Apple fan...I own no other Apple products....but the newest iPad is near perfect.

      • My only complaint with the 12.9" is the 1.5 lbs weight is a little heavy to be holding with one hand and tapping the screen with the other. The 0.68 lbs iPad Mini is perfect but Apple never puts the latest components in the Mini line. I settled for the 0.97 lbs iPad Pro 9.7" but would still rather have it in the Mini form factor. At least civilization VI runs well.
  • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Friday March 23, 2018 @09:57PM (#56317213)

    Does anyone really think Apple's goal is anything other than getting them hooked on their brand of opaque "computing appliance" at a young age?

    • Yeah because it's so difficult to get kids to want to use iPads you have to "hook" them. Oh please, they beg for them, one kid at school gets one and that's all you hear about until they get one. And while the schools are using chromebooks for educational software they hold about as much entertainment value as a caulkboard (which schools don't use anymore either).
  • Even at a lower price, this is a lot of money for cash-strapped education systems to be paying for a gadget. So what's the benefit of pupils having iPads in the classroom? Show me the objective evidence that they serve some educational benefit to pupils that outweighs the negative research evidence available today, e.g. that reading texts on electronic screens results in substantially lower comprehension?

    Tax payers are paying for these so companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, et a., should be held public

    • iPad Playgrounds are a really, really good way to learn "real" programming.

      I'm still not sure about them for pure reading either, but tablets have a much better potential for visualization and thus comprehension of complex subjects as well, all in a more usable form factor than a traditional computer.

      • Show me one K-12 curriculum on iPad that is anywhere near as effective as an average textbook. Textbooks have charts, tables, diagrams, illustrations, and infographics too, BTW. Plus, video and animations for learning in all but a small number of use-case scenarios aren't any more effective.
        • Textbooks have charts, tables, diagrams, illustrations, and infographics too

          Too, what?? I'm not talking about any of those things.

          I am talking about INTERACTIVITY. You can stay all of the charts and tables and formulas you like but it all means squat compared to a nice physics simulator you can mess around with parameters dynamically [apple.com].

          Kids could also understand chemistry a look sooner with an interactive guide to reactions... [elearningindustry.com]

          I am pretty sure you don't want to keep poor kids ignorant of how the world works,

          • As the saying goes, "Without data, you're just another opinion."

            When the independent, reproducible research evidence shows learning gains that justify the expense, then it's worth considering buying the hardware. The last 20 years of education research (when reporting effect sizes actually become common practice) say otherwise.

            On the "learning by doing" side of pedagogy, which "interACTIVE" apps fall into, it often fails dramatically because app designers and teachers are poorly informed about what it takes

    • Agreed. Why arent the schools required to show ROI?

      • Or even show that the pedagogies and tools that they intend to adopt have some decent independent controlled research evidence that shows exactly how effective they are, i.e. research that establishes causal relationships and measures effect sizes.
    • ipads allow children to move at their own pace. Rather than every student slowly learning a lesson and then practicing what was taught and waiting for slower children to finish, a child can learn the lesson and practice and move on to the next lesson. They're doing this now with chromebooks but it's limited to only apps chrome runs while iPads run chrome and iOS apps.
      • They can also do that with textbooks, which are much cheaper and more durable. BTW, adaptive testing (what the pundits now call "personalised learning") is no better than just studying everything in the book as most pupils already do. In fact, in some cases, it actually leads to lower learning gains because pupils spent so much time on repeating some items that they didn't spend enough time studying everything else, i.e. insufficient "strengthening" of foundational knowledge.
  • I think we all know that means its an ipad using 3-4 year old ipad hardware claiming its new but its just repackaged old device.
    • More likely 2 year old tech, like the 9.7â iPad from last year (which Iâ(TM)m typin this on).

      But more to the point, *that's how technology works*. New stuff isnâ(TM)t cheap. 2 or 3 year old tech has economies of scale and whatnot behind it. The only way to make inexpensive good things is for them to based on old technology, not unlike the raspberry pi. Given the state of mobile processors and tablet components, I suspect you'll still see 3 to 4 years of life out of these things.

  • What people need is a cheaper MacBook Air. Fuck retina displays, fuck USB-C-only ports and fuck those weak-ass lame butterfly keyboards.

  • ... the US / China tariffs and trade war get going?

  • They are making a cheaper, and inferior ipad to try and capture a piece of the market that isn't otherwise willing to spend the kind of money that an ipad goes for when an android tablet will do the trick just fine.
  • The world has gone Android.

    Apple got arrogant and their shit is overpriced/underpowered junk.They may have been the best 7 years ago, but that is no longer the case.

  • How about instead of spending money on ipads and the extra costs associated with support, infrastructure, staff, replacement every few years when apple retires a model etc to support the ipads, schools could instead fix crumbling buildings, lights, buy new desks, provide better lunches, ...

    My generation learned from books, blackboard, chalk, and a classroom that didn't have 60 kids in it.

Pascal is not a high-level language. -- Steven Feiner

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