The long rumored announcement of Apple’s new, cheaper iPad for students was made official at the company’s education event in Chicago today and the big news is that it features Apple Pencil support. The 9.7-inch iPad includes Touch ID, 10 hours of battery life, an HD FaceTime camera, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and LTE capabilities, as well as Apple’s A10 Fusion chip.
Apple‘s Greg Joswiak also revealed there are 200,000 apps produced specifically with education in mind, including Smart Annotation for teachers to mark Pages directly. Updated versions of iWorks apps like Pages and Keynotes will soon appear that are compatible with Apple Pencil, which was previously introduced two years ago alongside the iPad Pro. A book creator component is also coming to the Pages app for teachers to build digital books for classrooms.
Augmented reality will also be utilized for educational purposes, as such is seen in the Froggipedia app, which allows for digital dissecting via the Pencil. It was also announced that third-party styluses will be available, such as Logitech‘s Crayon for the iPad at $49 USD. Students will have 200GB for free in iCloud to back up schoolwork and the tablet will be available to them at $299 USD — instead of $329 USD for regular consumers — in silver, space gray, and a new gold color.
The Apple Pencil is available separately for $89 USD for students and $99 for everyone else. The new iPad can be ordered today, with shipping expected to begin at the end of the week.
In related news, Google introduced a Chrome tablet for classrooms yesterday in response to Apple’s low-cost iPad announcement speculation.