In an education-themed event in Chicago today, Apple announced a slew of updates focused on worming its way into the classroom. Chief among the announcements was a new iPad and a renewed focus on its accessory, the $99 Apple Pencil (a stylus). The new iPad will cost $329, which is what they cost now, and will be available this week. It’s a spec bump, so if you’ve been holding out for that before pulling the trigger on a new iPad, your patience has been rewarded.
If you’re a student, however, the iPad will only cost $299. That’s because Apple is making a big push into classroom infrastructure. In addition to pitching the iPad as a learning tool, Apple touted updates to iWork focused on Pencil support (you can now edit documents … with a pen!) and a new program called Apple Schoolwork, which lets teachers monitor student progress and dole out assignments. In addition, a new developer tool called ClassKit lets third-party developers take advantage of these features.
As if that weren’t enough, the company also announced that students would get 200 gigabytes of iCloud storage, compared to the free 5 gigs that everyone else gets. Apple really wants young kids to get hooked on using an iPad early.