Apple introduced a new 9.7 inch iPad at an education-themed event in Chicago on Tuesday. The new iPad features a Touch ID-compatible home button, as well as support for the Apple Pencil, the company’s custom-built stylus pen.
The device will come with an 8 megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p video, along with a HD front-facing camera, last up to 10 hours on a single charge and optionally offer LTE support. It has 32 GB of storage, and is being powered by Apple’s A10 Fusion chip, which will be able to run augmented reality (AR) apps powered by Apple’s ARKit.
Apple is selling the new iPad for $329 and up, depending on device configurations. Schools will get the same hardware for $299 and up. Students will also get 200 GB of free iCloud storage. Previously, free storage was limited to 5 GB.
The company also announced new versions of its productivity apps, including Pages and Keynote, with support for the Apple Pencil. The apps will be pre-loaded to the new iPad for free, and Apple has been developing some enhancements to make them work better in the classroom, including the ability for teachers to annotate their students’ work.
In addition, Apple introduced a new app called Schoolwork that can be used for digital classroom assignments and more. That app will be available in June, and integrate with a new developer framework for educational apps called ClassKit, which allows teachers to assign tasks across multiple apps.
All of this is designed to make Apple more competitive in the educational space, where Google has enjoyed a comfortable lead thanks to its cheap and easy-to-manage Chromebooks. Apple executives took a few swipes at Google during the event Tuesday, pointing out that there are a lot more apps available for iPads than Chromebooks, which largely rely on web-based apps and services. Apple now has 200,000 education and reference apps in its app store, the company revealed Tuesday.