A few years ago, Apple seemed ready to take over schools with iPads, and in one of the most breathtaking moves, Los Angeles schools planned to spend $ 1.3 billion to get Apple's tablets into their students' hands. It did not end so well.
And now, despite a praiseworthy early push, iPads are now far behind Chromebooks in American classrooms. The consulting firm Futuresource reported last year that Chromebooks account for 58 percent of mobile devices shipped to elementary and secondary schools, while iOS devices dropped from 25 percent to 19 percent. Earlier this month, Futuresource reported that the gap is only widening with slower total cell phone sales.
Apple's new iPads are widely regarded as an attempt to regain some of it, but unfortunately for schools, the new tablets are still not as appealing as Google's cheap, durable laptops. That could all change if we ever see the rumor of cheap MacBook Air, but now the new 9.7-inch iPad is all that Apple offers to students and school districts. We already have one and it looks like a great device to bulk consumers, but classrooms are likely to turn their backs. Here is why.
Chromebooks are just cheaper
Here's the elephant in the room. Selling the awesome $ 329- $ 9.9-inch iPad to students for $ 299 is a great start, but with a Chromebook, students and school districts can buy a device that is essentially a full-fledged laptop for around Is $ 230. All discussions about a "cheaper" iPad, which is aimed at students, are pure marketing measures, since Apple already sold the previous 9.7-inch iPad to students for $ 299. (I admit I even got caught in it.)
Damn, you can now buy the capable Dell Chromebook 1
Having used both Chromebooks and iPads for a long time, I can say that Apple definitely has a durability advantage. I looked through about four Chromebooks during the life of the same iPad (which, by the way, still works well). My iPad 2 is still alive despite heavy use. So I think it's possible to argue that iPads could be cheaper for schools in the long run, especially if they're reusing them. But that's just not so convincing if you consider as a school administrator large numbers at the end of the bill.
If Apple really wanted to be competitive, it should reduce the price to about $ 250 or less for students. Apple might need a lower-performing processor for this type of pricing, but as we've seen on the relatively weak Chromebooks, students and school districts are more than willing to accept this sacrifice.
Someone Will Lose a Pencil
On paper, yes, Apple sells an iPad to students for under $ 300. (It's just a penny lower, but it's the thought that counts, right?) To the To get fantastic experience, which Apple has shown on stage in Chicago, students and schools have to pay $ 89 for an Apple Pencil with the new discount, so the price is precariously close to $ 400.
Even if students buy Logitechs $ 50 Crayon, that's still a lot of money for a device that – I admit it – will lose many students and probably fast. I've managed to go about a year without losing my own, but keeping up when I'm not home requires a change in mindset that equals a new diet. After a single loss, even some of the more affluent parents and districts will fail to replace them. How for less favored students? Forget it.
Chromebooks come with ports
I'm glad to see that the Apple Pencil is finally coming to a standard iPad, but the fact is that it's not a real mouse replacement. With Chromebooks, students can easily plug in cost-effective mice via USB ports, so they can edit and edit text in essays and reports much faster than with Apple pens. As a writer who often writes on an iPad Pro, I'm all too aware of how this simple limitation slows down my workload.
But ports are also good for other things. Students can easily plug an external display for presentation into their Chromebook, or they can simply connect to external hard drives to download or upload huge files. The iPad? They are stuck with the cloud and the embarrassment of sending large files to more powerful devices.
File management prepares less trouble
Apple has significantly improved the file management for the iPad with iOS 11 with the introduction of dedicated files App, but (in sharp contrast to the usual Apple affection for simplicity), it is still a little confused process for saving and restoring files.
Meanwhile, Chrome OS, although based on a browser of all things, mimics the experience of storing and sending files on a Mac or PC much better. You always know where your saved files are. You can easily create and access specific folders for projects. This simplicity greatly shortens the time it takes to complete a task in a bind, while I find on the iPad that I often have to relearn how to find a saved file with each app.
Management is More Complex
G Suite for Education is the hottest thing in schools today, as it makes it easy for teachers to create and share assignments, give students feedback on their work, and occasionally even give progress reports to parents or guardians ,
Apple has made this clear is eager to fill that void with the Schoolwork app, which was announced yesterday, along with a curriculum that focuses on music, video, photography and art titled Everyone Can Create concentrated.
Frankly, schoolwork looks impressive. It even looks a bit more intuitive and fun than what we see in the competition. The problem is that G Suite is fully online, making it easy to use on a variety of devices. You can use it on a phone. You can use it on a Chromebook. Yes, you can even use it on an iPad.
Apple's app-based system, however, requires a full commitment to Apple's product line. If you are a school, this means all the iPads or go home. This will work for some schools, but for many others, Apple's price tag will be too high an entry barrier for the iPads needed.
Where is the keyboard?
I'm a fan of Apple's digital keyboard for the iPad, and people in the office actually seem to think that's why I'm a bit weird. Today I do not even use a keyboard case
But this is because I mainly use my 12.9 inch iPad Pro. At this size, the keyboard has about the same typing experience on the MacBook Pro 2017. After typing the new 9.7-inch iPad, I'm impressed with it, but it's hard to ignore that fact the loss of those extra inches provides a tense typing experience. And that comes from someone who has (sext) decades of paperwork behind them. For someone learning to write for the first time, a digital keyboard will not cut it.
For longer tasks such as reports and essays that require longer typing, students and teachers alike will need physical keyboards. Even I, an advocate of the digital keyboard, am tired of using them when typing more than 200 words. This may not be as important to students in their early years (who will probably benefit more from the touchscreen emphasis on the iPad), but I could see that the closer students are to high school, the more problematic they become.
And remember, Chromebooks come with a keyboard that already clings to the screen. Terrifyingly, the new iPad does not even come with the Smart Connector, which Apple uses in other iPad models to connect to its Smart Keyboard. Instead, Apple nudges students and schools to pick up Logitech's Rugged Combo 2 case, which looks super tough but costs another $ 100. (It also comes with its own Smart Connector to make up for Apple's omission.) Once you get into the Apple Pencil, congratulations: You're looking at a $ 500 setup now.
Sorry, Apple, do not you think of this topic.