Apple reported their Q4 earnings, and the company received an A+ in the education market, boasting a 94% share for tablets. Statistics, like for every Mac Apple sold to K-12 and colleges they sold 2 iPads, are driving attention to the opportunities that these devices bring to the educational space. So iPads, Chromebooks, and other tablets are becoming staples in classrooms, now the question remains…what are we to do with them (besides cure the 20 lb backpack ache)?
Apple is not only providing schools with a piece of technology to incorporate into the curriculum, they also focus on delivering content to support learning and empower classrooms through easily accesible tools. For example, 700 K-12 schools and 125 colleges have signed up to use iTunes U since January — not to mention the amount of materials and textbooks downloaded from the iBook Store.
Certain schools are now using iPads/tablets to advance the way a traditional classroom functions. The old school days of doodling while attempting to take notes and follow a teacher’s lecture are over as lessons turn interactive. A glaring teacher’s eye is being replaced with comprehensive analytics built directly into iPad apps designed specifically for in-class learning environments. Now teachers can dynamically adjust their lesson plans based on how effectively their students are absorbing the content, and focus on refining mastery of the subjects so that students can perform better on tests.
Some of the most powerful tools, for example, The Khan Academy, offer apps for both iPhone and iPad that allow teachers to split the classroom into units. This control gives instructors the ability to focus on students that need help mastering specific aspects of a lesson plan, without holding back students that are more proficient. Students plow through problems that can scale in difficulty on the fly, helping determine just how well they understand the subject. Using iPads in the classroom is also keeping students engaged like never before, allowing students to pinch, swipe, draw, move, and watch through their lessons. Memorization is so 20th century—the future is all about engagement and comprehension.
Educational websites are seeing a healthy percentage of their traffic coming from mobile, and an equally impressive percentage of those users are on iPads. Apple is all in when it comes to promoting their prowess in education, and for now, Apple just may be the teacher’s pet.
As we’ve come to expect from Apple this event followed the usual formula — a series of buildup announcements until the final big reveal. Gorgeous graphics accompanied Tim Cook, Craig Federighi, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue and the rest of the Apple crew as they publicized what so many were waiting to hear.
By The Numbers:
- iPhone 5s/5c launch was the biggest ever, selling over 9 million devices that first weekend.
- 1 billion songs were played this past month on the iOS 7 iTunes Radio.
- 60 billion apps downloaded.
- 170 million iPads have been sold, putting Apple at 81% of tablet usage share.
- 475,000 apps built specifically for iPads are available.
OS X Mavericks:
- +1 hour longer web browsing and +90 minutes longer video watching.
- Compressed Memory = instantly compresses inactive parts of memory (e.g. can fit 6 GB of data in 4 GB of RAM).
- Revamps to Maverick notification system and support for other nifty features.
- Now FREE and available today for everyone!
- 13″ Retina now is “thinner, lighter, and faster.”
- Boasts 9 hours of battery life.
- Starts at $1,299 — that’s $200 less than before!
- 15 ” Retina now rocks some impressive specs like Crystalwell chip with Iris Pro graphics, and has 8+ hours of battery life.
- Sports a $1,999 price tag — also $200 less than previous model.
- Well, by looks alone, it’s pretty intriguing — cylindrical, 1/8 the size of previous models, and has specs out the wazoo.
- Inside you’ll find a Xeon E5 with up to 12 cores, making it super super speedy.
- Who doesn’t love when a product is assembled in the good ol’ US of A. And on top of that, it uses 70% less energy than previous Mac Pros!
- Oh, and it’s $2,999.
- Introducing the newest generation of the iPad, now called “iPad Air.”
- A bigger iPad mini so-to-say with a 9.7″ retina display.
- Less bezel and 20% thinner than other models — weighing in at only 1lb.
- There will be happy campers with 10+ hour battery life, a 5 Megapixel iSight, and 1080p FaceTime Camera.
- It has very similar guts to the recently released iPhone 5s — A7 and M7 coprocessor.
- Comes in black, white, silver, and space grey.
- $629 for the retina with cellular — the 2G will remain at $399.
- iPad Mini will finally come in retina, so that’s nice.
The other day I accidentally eavesdropped on a conversation between one of our iOS developers and another Punchkicker — I played it cool and continued back to my desk, but soon sought out that dev to get some answers about these iBeacons I heard them talking about.
What exactly is iBeacon? Available to use as of iOS 7, iBeacon was rather quietly introduced as a whole new way for location recognition through mobile. Bluetooth Low Energy sensors, aka beacons, communicate with Apple devices that have iOS 7 and iBeacon, within a physical space, and as long as that device has that space’s related app. Spaces include, but are not limited to stores of all shapes and sizes, stadiums, museums, and venues. iBeacon brings range, proximity, and context all together to deliver an experience specifically tailored to the user.
The MLB is already in the process of implementing iBeacon in ballparks through it’s extremely popular MLB app. While in the stadium, iPhone users with the app will potentially receive notifications of particular concession stands close to their seats, or a quick history lesson about the time Babe Ruth hit a homer right into the user’s specific section. Another speculation includes a store being able to detect how long a user is standing in a display, and could prompt or alert a user to take a particular action. Our dev would personally appreciate iBeacon within a museum setting — walking by an exhibit, it’d be nice to have an alert provide you with information or directions. Audio tours could even be through a personal device/headphones and much more customizable with the use of iBeacons. No more sweaty shared headsets or moving like a school of fish through an exhibit.
Pros? Cons? As of now, there isn’t enough practical data to put anything in stone, especially since 3rd party integration is still in the works according to Apple. For now we see the pros for users being extremely precise and relevant information available at your fingertips for your favorite places. Too many times I’ll shop in a department store and miss a sale or promo because I didn’t open their marketing emails. On the contrary, I could not want to be bombarded with notifications while trying to enjoy retail therapy. For those implementing iBeacon within their space, it opens a unique set of doors to consumer context and habits — as well as helping you provide the best experience per user. Users are selfish and want to feel special, the proper execution with iBeacon can provide for that need. A barrier to consider is the need for a native iOS application, and then navigating settings within that users app preferences.
How iBeacon’s going to play out is an open-ended question at this point, but the possibilities are definitely exciting.
Image Source: Gigaom
Hello from Chicago! A special hello to the troopers who stood in line today to get their hands on the new iPhones. You early adopters, you. The day is Friday so we’re bringing you five fresh stories from the last 5 days.
Microryza is a crowd-funding platform for scientific research. Think Kickstarter for tracking Magellanic Penguins, or Indiegogo for studying cannibalism in the T-rex. This article goes into the Microryza platform, their progress so far, and what’s down the pipeline. It’s also Jackson Solway’s first post as part of his Startup Portraits project, where he’ll be interviewing startups in the Bay Area and reporting on their projects.
The discovery of a multidimensional mathematical object named the ‘amplituhedron’ has radically simplified how interactions between particles are measured. Calculations that were previously too complicated for computers to handle can now be done by hand. The implications of this discovery are vast, and this post in Quanta Magazine goes into things we’ve never heard of. Caution: Heavy Science Ahead.
Restaurant site builder happytables has released some very interesting numbers around mobile traffic to restaurant sites. They are eye-openers. On average, 40% of restaurant site traffic is coming from mobile, and this shoots up to over 50% on the weekends. Takeaway? As a restaurant, if you don’t have a mobile site, you could be missing out on business.
Pew Internet and American Life Project have released some data surrounding a study of cell phone activity in 2013. The research shows that 91% of US adults own a cellphone, and that 60% of US adults use their phones to access the internet. A series of graphs show the trends from 2009 until now.
It’s amazing how quickly kids pick up new technologies, but they can also get upset when it changes. iOS 7 was an adjustment to iPhone owners across the board, but just see how these kiddies took the new OS.
On Tuesday Apple announced their next generation of iPhone(s), the 5s and 5c. As I look down at my iPhone 4, I imagine I probably look like Zach Morris from Saved By The Bell…
The advancements in hardware alone from the 4 to the 5 were significant enough to instill a desire for the device, with software updates as the cherry-on-top. On this throwback Thursday, let’s see how far we (Apple) have come since the original iPhone.
In June of 2007, the mobile game changed as a new player took the court, “Say Hello To The iPhone.” Apple’s slogan referred to the first generation iPhone, which sold 270,000 units in the first 30 hours! There was such an incredible hype surrounding this phone and what it meant for the industry, much like today, however at this time it was completely a mystery. The video below takes us back to 2007, to the MacWorld Conference where Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone.
Today’s Apple event revolved around the iPhone, as two new models of the world’s most iconic smartphone line were announced. The iPhone 5s is an upgrade to the iPhone 5, the current generation of iPhone, and it packs plenty of new features.
Among the biggest changes in the iPhone 5s is its 64-bit A7 processor, making the iPhone 5s the first 64-bit smartphone. The new processor will allow the iPhone 5s to run more graphically intensive and processor heavy applications, pushing the boundaries of what an iPhone can do with up to 2x increased CPU and graphics performance. Along with the new A7 processor, Apple has included an M7 coprocessor capable of more efficiently detecting motion data from the device’s gyroscope, accelerometer, and compass. Apps which tap into these sensors can now do so without taking as a hit on the battery.
The iPhone is known for revolutionizing the camera, to the dismay of point and shoot camera manufacturers, and the iPhone 5s comes with big improvements to its iSight camera. The iPhone 5s camera has a larger sensor and a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.2, meaning better low light shots, and overall better image quality.
A new hardware feature which the iPhone 5s will sport is a fingerprint scanner, which Apple is calling Touch ID. A touch of the finger will unlock the iPhone, letting users quickly and securely access their content without the need for a passcode. Going beyond just unlocking the iPhone, authorizing iTunes and App Store purchases can also be done with a simple touch, eliminating the need to remember passwords, and bringing the level of security that comes with a fingerprint.
Alongside the iPhone 5s, Apple also announced the iPhone 5c, a colorful, less powerful counterpart to the 5s, though it’s by no means underpowered. The 5c has specs similar to that of the current iPhone 5, but it comes in 5 colors (lime green, white, bright blue, candy red, and yellow) and has a plastic body. Colorful cases are also available, for a number of eye-catching combinations.
Two big surprises came out of today’s Apple event, the biggest being that the iPhone 5 is effectively discontinued. Current gen iPhones tend to drop in price when a new model is announced, but it seems that the 5c has replaced the iPhone 5 as the cheaper model, and the iPhone 4S will now be the free option (with a 2-year contract). Also surprising is that, while the iPhone 5c is available for preorder on September 13th, the iPhone 5s won’t be. Apple fans who want the iPhone 5S at launch will have to wait in line, though that’s become an almost welcome tradition amongst the most die-hard of fans.
Those looking to get the new Apple hardware have less than a month to wait, as both the iPhone 5s and 5c will be available September 20th. iOS 7, the flattened version of iOS, will be released to the public two days prior, on September 18th, in anticipation for the release. The new iPhones come at a non-surprising price point, with the iPhone 5s coming in at $199 on a two-year contract, and the iPhone 5c at $99 on a two-year contract.
Another busy week has flown by, and this Friday 5 we have a quick list of particularly interesting articles and updates that you may have missed in the past few days summer bustle:
Colin MacDuff, a former bike mechanic and Navy vet, lost part of his finger in an accident and has adapted the first prosthetic finger that’s functional with touchscreen technology.
Apple Insider reported that an Apple patent titled “Methods to determine availability of user based on mobile phone status.” The idea is very similar to the AIM away messages of our past — iMessage would have statuses, determined by the state of the device, to let you know if your friends were available to call/chat.
Google Street view has added Zoos to it list of destinations, and yes, you can preview the animals! To learn more about Google Street View, check out our post: Google Trek Takes You On A Journey.
Despite a promising and record setting start to funding, the Ubuntu Edge failed to meet the $32 million goal. The dream for the Ubuntu Edge may be over for now, but Canonical says a Ubuntu phone is still on the horizon.
Mashable brings us 8 Chrome extensions that will make day-to-day tasks more efficient and less mundane. Personal favorite: Tab Packager. Check them all out, and your time spent clicking, copying, and pasting will be minimized.
Just two short weeks after iOS 7 beta 2 was released, Apple put out another set of improvements to iOS 7 with beta 3. Our team of iOS developers explored the new beta, and noted that the iPhone version is more stable than before, while the iPad version is still noticeably buggy–but making progress. Other first impressions include improvements on text legibility. The systemwide font changed from Helvetica Neue Light to Helvetica Neue, which to some is only cosmetic, but to others makes iOS 7 more usable and efficient.
There are a lot of little tweaks across the system, and iClarified has put together an extensive list of what’s new in beta 3 complete with images to document the changes. Below are a few notable modifications from the list:
If you haven’t noticed yet within your apps, the login screen for Facebook Connect has updated to feel more “iPhone friendly,” and Facebook has dropped this idea of “connecting” as a result.
Additionally, there are many cues in the new UX which assume an experienced Facebook user, which seems like a shift in Facebook’s approach for their API.
Notable changes include:
- Removed all “Connect” language in favor of “Login”
- Simplifies language overall, which assumes experienced user
- Title “Connect to Facebook to “Facebook Login”
- Removed description of what Facebook Connect is for
- Remove visual cue that helps users understand the purpose of the screen
- Removed Facebook terms/conditions fine print
- Removed “Cancel” button
- Asks for either your email or your phone number
- Increases size of user input fields
The Business Insider has posted an article titled How To Hire A Great iPhone Developer and it features a few quotes from our creative director, Ryan Unger. It’s a good read with some valuable insight, so feel free to give it a look.