Apple CEO Tim Cook outlined the company's education efforts with a $299 iPad for schools and more software to manage the classroom, teacher and student experiences. Apple is going after the education market in a way that resembles how it appeals to creative pros with an emphasis on the company's app ecosystem.

The big question is whether Apple can close its Google gap in education[1] due to Chromebooks and Google Classroom. Apple's plan revolves around a new 9.7-inch iPad that will support Apple Pencil and likely compete with its own iPad Pro. The new iPad will have updates to Pages, Numbers and Keynote to support Apple Pencil and annotations.

These specs, which are designed to compete with laptops and Chromebooks, include:

  • 8MP camera with HD video;
  • LTE support;10 hours battery life;
  • A-10 chip;9.7-inch display;
  • Augmented reality platform support;
  • A $329 cost for consumers and $299 for schools;
  • Logitech makes a Crayon for $49 as well as a rugged case.

On the augmented reality front, the Apple's next ARKit update supports walls and the Retina screen will provide better "AR experiences simply not possible on other devices." Apple also touted Boulevard AR, an art history app. Apple is leaning into ARKit for its science, art and environmental education support.

Apple also touted management features for the iPad. Apple School Manager was also introduced to manage apps, Apple ID setup for students, account sharing and bulk accounts. Apple claims that schools can create IDs for 1,500 students in less than a minute. Apple will also increase free storage for education from 5GB to 200GB.

The company also noted that its Classroom software is coming to the Mac and available as a beta in June. Another app is called Schoolwork so teachers can connect

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