We were not expecting to see much come out of todays Apple Education event. The setting and publicity surrounding this press event was indicative of who this event was truly meant for, educators and not general consumers. First of all, this event had a unique setting. This event took place at an actual school in Chicago, not at Apple's new headquarters in California. Along with this unusual environment, Apple did not even live stream this event, like Apple does for their other highly publicized events, giving me the initial impression that we would not see any of the things the Apple bloggers and the other rumor-mills have been drumming up over the past weeks. And I was right. This was an overall underwhelming event where we only saw an iteration to Apple's existing 9.7inch iPad product line. As well as showing off Apple's education software suite, Logistic's third party case and crayon stylus, and highlighting Apple's dedication to the education space.
What We Got - The New iPad
The biggest announcement to come out of todays Apple event was their new iteration to last years 9.7-inch iPad line. This is Apples affordable iPad that was their best seller last year, and if I were to guess will continue to be a great fit alongside their high-end iPad Pro line. The new iPad sports the same price tag as last years model at $329. However, for educators and students the iPad is discount below the $300 price tag at...$299.
So whats new with this years iPad? The biggest update with this new iPad is that it will work with Apple's $99 for consumers or $89 for educator and students Apple pencil. This is big news since its is the first Apple device other than the Apple iPad Pro line to have Apple Pencil functionality. The next upgrade came to the internal processor, seeing a bump to the Appel A10 Fusion chip. A nice spec bump that will help with the fluidity and functionally of iOS 11 on iPad. Lastly, the iPad will come in a new color Rose Gold. Rounding out three total color options: Space Gray, Silver, and Rose Gold.
What We didn't Get
To many peoples disappointment, including myself, we did not get any time frame set for the latest version of iOS to be released. This update is set to be a major bug-fixing update that will address many security issues that have arouse over the past months. We also did not see the rumored cheaper iPhone SE update or the cheaper MacBook option. The MacBook option is the most exciting thing that has been rumored to update the Apple MacBook Air line display and better fill in the product line. Replacing the MacBook Air's current matte LCD display out of 2013 with a retina display that better suits its price-point for 2018. Like I said, I did not expect to see any of these products related today. It is most likely we will see these updates later this year. With the announcements for iOS, watchOS, and macOS software announcements coming at WWDC in June and the hardware announcements coming in late summer/fall.