4/16/2018 8:57:47 AM
Apple's new education focused tablet seems dead on arrival
Apple Tablet,Apple iPad,Apple Education iPad
App Developer Magazine

Apple's new education focused tablet seems dead on arrival

Ilan Kaps Ilan Kaps in Mobile Tech Monday, April 16, 2018

Why Apple's new education based tabled might be too late in the already overcrowded space - with the likes of the Chromebook seemingly dominating.

Apple as a company are used to dominating a market, if not in terms of sheer numbers than in terms of visibility and branding. Just think of how many macs you see in coffee shops, or in TV shows or on University campuses, yet they are massively outsold by windows computers. The iPad is usually the first tablet people can name and ditto for the apple watch and smart watches. They are a company which, at the very least, likes to give the illusion of dominance and have the air of being the biggest technology company.

One sector though where it trails both in terms of perception and visibility, as well as in raw sales figures, is the education market, where it is miles behind google and their chromebooks. They are used across schools owing to the fact that they are cheap, they are very rugged and they connect to g-suite, googles easy to use service of apps that make it simple for teachers and students to send each other things, edit documents and send notes home to parents. Google are so far ahead of apple that apple had to respond and get more devices powered by iOS into classrooms.

Apple then decided that they would bring out a new iPad for the educational sphere that would be able to compete with Google’s chromebooks, yet many technology writers have been disappointed by apple’s recent announcement arguing they failed to gamble. They failed to take a risk, Apple are a company that have become known a bit for keeping things safe recently, they aren’t the type of company to go to Spin Palace online casino and put all of their money on red, figuratively speaking of course. Yet in this case many felt there were just too conservative. 

From a development point of view, this is a bit of a shame as better educational hardware opens up new and exciting ways to make use of software to educate children and young people. A new device would mean more changes to develop great purpose built apps. However many argue that this new iPad is basically just the old iPad with a couple of useless bells and whistles and therefore not fit for children to use. One big critique is that is doesn’t come with a case, which, as anyone with children knows, is a must have as kids are amazingly adept at breaking things.

In addition, while it has added pen support, this is something iPad’s can do and also the pen will easily get lost and broken. There is, in perhaps the biggest oversight, no keyboard which is a huge problem for many students and schools as they want to teach them about how to use excel and how to use word, which is pretty hard without a keyboard.

Apple then needs to be more bold, it needs to look deeper at its target market, it has basically taken an adult product and made tiny tweaks where bigger ones were needed, it remains to be seen if they will be able to overtake chromebooks, but it seems unlikely.

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