Apple surprised everyone when it announced an event focused on education about "new creative ideas for teachers and students" in Chicago on March 27 at 10 a.m. ET. But in the traditional Apple way, the company does not give many clues about what to expect other than the phrase "let's take a field trip".
But even if Apple does not give us any clue, we still have some ideas about what could happen during Tuesday's event. Here is everything you can expect:
New iPad (s)
This seems to be the most obvious bet, given that Apple already pushes the hard iPad as an educational device, especially as a tool for the classroom. A new and cheaper iPad that eliminates some of the more premium features in the iPad Pro in favor of a lower price (maybe add a "smart connector" to connect a keyboard box) could be ideal for students.
IPads seem the most obvious bet
It is also possible that Apple remembers the iPad Mini, which has not been updated since 2015. With the smaller screen, Apple could reach an even lower price than the iPad of $ 329 2017, and the small size could make it more manageable for students younger.
The rumor mill backs some of this, Apple recently won regulatory approval for two new iPad models in Europe, and Digitimes has said that Apple is looking to launch an iPad model with a budget of $ 259 this year.
First reported by 9to5Mac by Apple's firmware hunter, Guilherme Rambo, Apple apparently leaked the existence of a new "ClassKit" framework in one of the beta Betas of iOS 11.3. According to Rambo, ClassKit will offer developers new options for the creation of educational applications, including the ability to distribute questionnaires and tests through iPads to students, and receive answers directly from teachers. Given the educational focus of the event, ClassKit seems almost guaranteed to appear here.
New MacBook / MacBook Air
The other great rumor of hardware for the educational event is a new MacBook or MacBook Air. There are contradictory rumors about what Apple might be planning: KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple will release a more economical version of the existing 13.3-inch MacBook Air budget (which the company has not updated the specifications in years, until the old resolution screen of 1,440 x 900). In addition, Digitimes claims that Apple has a new entry planned for the 13-inch MacBook model that will have the same Retina display as the existing 13.3-inch MacBook Pro. It is possible that both rumors refer to the same updated product, that Apple has two new low-budget computers planned, or that neither is correct.
New Apple pencil
The current Apple Pencil is not exactly an educational device: it's an expensive $ 99 accessory and only works with the iPad Pro. But the invitation to the event looks a lot like an Apple pencil drawing, and there's a chance that Apple may have a cheaper version of the pen planned to pair with the new rumored iPad (s).
iBooks / Books
The last time that Apple held an educational event, was to announce iBooks 2 and a new application iBooks Author in 2012 to facilitate the creation of textbooks. It is logical that Apple could announce updates to its library in this event as well. In addition, it is said that Apple is also working on a revised iBooks application, according to a Bloomberg report, which gives credence to the possibility.
Additional educational functions
Apple has previously added features to iOS with a focus on education; It is still the only place that the company has allowed for multi-user support for iPads, added in iOS 9.3, and it is possible that we can see more functionalities in that sense that they will. make it easier for teachers and students to use iPads in classrooms.
While things like ClassKit and iBooks will give third-party companies and developers better ways to create tools for education on the iPad, Apple may have some deeper features that could also be advertised.
Dates of AirPower and iOS 11.3
Of course, the invitation to the event may say that it focuses on education, but Apple could also give some updates on other things. We're still waiting for the AirPower wireless charging mat that was announced in September (Apple only promised a launch window for 2018), and iOS 11.3 has been in beta for weeks. The event could serve as a good place to announce launch dates for them, even if they are not super related to school technology.
If there's one thing we know about Apple's events, it's that it's incredibly difficult to predict Apple's events. And sometimes, just when you think you've covered every angle, Apple comes up with something completely unexpected. New AirPods? An iPhone SE 2? The return of the Newton? Anything could happen on Tuesday, and whatever Tim Cook announces, we'll make sure we have all the details here in The Verge.