Apple is holding a spring event this year, and it looks like a bigger departure from the usual Bay Area confab. The press conference will be held on March 27, 2018, at the Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. The invitation has mainly focused on education. Under the heading “Let’s take a field trip” all that the invitation states is, “Join us to hear creative new ideas for teachers and students.”
The last education-focused event that Apple held was in 2012, in New York City. It was at this event that the company has gone on to launch digital textbooks, and it was nothing about hardware. However, rumours are that the company’s hardware refreshes are being piled up, and Apple might use this event to launch some of them. However, what the company doesn’t launch on March 27, it will go on to do it at the company’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), which will be held on June 4 at San Jose.
Here, are few of the best guesses that we believe Apple might launch at the event on March 27 in Chicago.
New iPads: Supposedly, Apple is working on an updated iPad Pro models which would borrow the Face ID technology that is found on iPhone X. However, it might be possible that these might not hit until later this year if they are at all launched in 2018. Instead, a refresh of the new 9.7-inch iPad which was released exactly a year ago seems more likely. It is nothing fancy; however, it is the best iPad value, along with being the perfect candidate for the education market. A processor refresh seems necessary, however, the company might add a new camera or few new accessories.
Apple Pencil, maybe? The Apple Pencil is an amazing tool, however, it is limited to only the expensive iPad Pros. We hope that Apple might go on to find out a new way so as to include the Pencil support in the lower-end iPads, so as to support art as well as other graphic works on the iPads in schools. This would also mean redesigning some school-friendly Pencil too, which does not come with an easy-to-lose cap end and that which is easier to hold by small hands, also which does not roll off the table. The function of having an eraser would be really nice. If you consider the graphic on the invitation, you will be able to view loads of flowing pencil like lines, doesn’t seem like an accident or just a design, does it?
Coding initiatives: Apple has been intending to spread Swift to kids, through the iPad Swift Playground s app and through other efforts. The December 0f 2017, saw the expansion of Everyone Can Code program to the Chicago schools, so as to teach the kids about Swift, and this might be the part of that event-a revisit you can say. You should also look out for the possibility of a new app or coding toolset, which would bring tech-focused learning to the pre-college students.
New keyboard, perhaps? If Apple is really going considering the iPad, as the new computer, then it needs to seriously consider making the lower end iPad more attractive. There are several amazing Bluetooth keyboards available, however, Apple has yet not made its own keyboard accessory. Its smart keyboard cover only works with iPad Pro via the Smart Connector. However, it might be possible the lower-end iPad might get a smart connector, hopefully.
New plan for education pricing: Apple is already offering discounts for educators, however, it is a great idea if they take out new plans bring in more deals on its iPads, Macs, software and services, which would help the company so as to regain its strength in the education market, which is currently tilted towards Google Chromebook platform.
What not to expect at the event
In addition to the iPad Pros, I believe that it is yet too early for Apple to be unveiling its all-new MacBook, which includes the rumoured MacBook Air revamp that we believe that the company is currently working on.
The other products that you should not expect are the AirPower charge pad which was announced last September and it is yet not released, or the rumoured iPhone SE 2. This Apple event is clearly about education; hence you should expect the main focus on it only.
However, it is important for you to remember that all these are just guesses on my part. We will know for sure what the event will bring once it starts at Chicago at 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. ET, 8 a.m. PT) on Tuesday, March 27. Stay tuned in for the event.