I was going to write about this in more detail, slept on it, and decided just to do a quick thought on it here. You’re welcome.

I loved the event. I see Apple is getting criticism for what they announced and the pricing, and in some ways that’s fully justified.

But….

Apple never competes on price. And if Apple did go after Chromebooks by chasing their price, it would be done with products that don’t innovate and cut corners (just like Chromebooks do). Which isn’t what Apple is good at. Apple used this event to steer Apple into the part of its market where it can succeed, not just exist.

I think there’s a bigger issue though: Apple was speaking to what it believes education SHOULD be. Apple is aspiring to a better thing than we give our kids and the students today.

If Apple did choose to join the chase of the bottom it’d have to stop innovating to get there, at least in this market area, and if they did, who would push innovation in the face of everyone else and force them to move forward?

The reason Apple did this event, and the way it did it, is pretty clear to me. The event was not to tell us about new iPads, or that these iPads support the pencil.

This event was to tell us that Education matters. and to tell the people who are in Education in what can only be called really challenging times — that they matter.

We should be fighting to fix education to make what Apple’s vision shows us available to all students, not complaining that Apple refuses to turn itself into yet another Chromebook clone and accepting our current crappy, underfunded education systems as the way they should be.

One of the things Apple brings to all of us, beyond its products, is that it continues to show us how things could and should be, and it forces the other companies to chase their innovations and aspirations and that makes things better for everyone over time. We need that, because if Apple stops doing that, who will?

So this educational event was all about Apple doing what Apple does best, and that’s a good thing. This doesn’t mean Apple doesn’t have things it can (and should!) do, such as better ID management, but much of the griping about the event boiled down to two big themes:

  • Apple has to do netbooks or it’s in big trouble! (Remember that? It’s back!)
  • Apple has lots of money; it should give it to education, and then we’ll like them.

Ultimately, Apple will be, and has to be, Apple. And even non-Apple fans need that because it pushes the rest of the industry to get better and innovate, too.

(And p.s: I bought one of the new iPads, because guess who (a) needs another iPad to drive some features in the upcoming new office, and (b) dropped his old one in a parking lot a couple of days ago? Still usable, but it was a good excuse to return my carry around to having a cellular connection, which I really miss. And the old one is usable, and I’ll get the glass fixed sometime down the road to be the control panel for the home office)

(P.S. #2: the people complaining about the cost of the pencil for students is missing the point of the Crayon. It’s pretty clear Apple’s strategy here is for schools to buy the iPads and Crayons for students, but the nice thing is for those students for which the added capabilities of the pencil would be useful, they can get one and it’ll work. There’s no need to discount the pencils more, they went and had the Crayon built instead)

The new iPad

I had been thinking of getting an iPad specifically to act as control panel for the new office — homekit, driving the screen, music, etc. And then over the weekend, I dropped my iPad Pro. Oops. Usable, but the glass is a bit cracked. And then Apple announced the new iPad, and I went “oh. okay.”.

It arrived Friday, and I’ve been working with it for a day or so now, so a few first impressions.

The primary reason I wanted to update the iPad I carry? My current iPad Pro is wifi only, and the hassle and reliability of having to tether to the iPhone for network when wandering around drove me crazy, and I wanted to go back to a networked iPad. The transfer between iPads was amazingly simple; Apple’s done a huge amount of work simplifying this and it shows. I backed up to iCloud, fired up the new iPad, restored, and I was on my way in less than an hour. Some apps fully set themselves up, some needed passwords again, but overall, it just worked — with the exception of one game that seems unable to see some IAP DLC, and honestly, it doesn’t really matter to me.

My reaction to the device is quite positive, but I notice some very slight, subjective differences from my two-year-old iPad Pro (with wifi-only): it feels a touch heavier; it feels just a tiny thicker, I definitely notice the 2 speaker vs 4 speaker setup, and the screen seems a touch cooler. The difference between a new iPad and a new iPad Pro is pretty significant if the features matter: Promotion to enable high fidelity with the Apple Pencil, four speakers for better volume and clarity, the P3 Wide color gamut screen. Of these, the only one I knew I’d miss was the P3 color, and I do, a small bit; I’m noticing the speakers more than I expected as well. But pricing them out, buying a new iPad Pro with similar configs to his new iPad was $400 more, and, well, I can enjoy the $400 more than I’d appreciate better speakers. The Apple Pencil seems to work fine, but I’m not a heavy use of drawing, so I’m not really the person to comment on that. It works for me.

But it’s a good, solid iPad, and I’m enjoying not having to be tied to a Wifi connection any more.

Sometime in the next few weeks I’ll schedule an appointment to get the iPad Pro fixed, do a fresh install, and put the apps I’ll want on it to drive the new office. but there’s no real hurry right now…

Monday Monday

Life got busy last week so I didn’t get as much blogging done as I’d planned; I got asked to take on some new responsibilities, and I spent some time sorting that out. Also a lot of moving pieces on the remodel work needed attention, and Laurie had spring break and took off to Oregon for some R&R and so I had dad duty with the cats and bird and cooking duty for me.

Just enough crazy to not feel like sitting down and writing a lot, which actually is okay — once in a while. But progress on lots of things because of it, which is good….

Speaking of the new office

The new carpeting is in. The new circuit is in, in fact the electricians gave me a bit of a bonus and added 2 20 amp circuits into the office instead of one for the same price. So I have plenty of power in there. In related news, the new carpeting in the bedroom goes in later today and most of the bedroom furniture is in the office to make that possible, because it happened to be (mostly) empty. Almost as if I planned that.

And I’ve had the roofer in to look at some leaks, and the good news is we only need a tuneup, not a re-roof, and the tune-up will extend the life a number of years to boot. But it needs to be done before we do the interior painting, for various reasons.

But now all the office needs is paint, and I can move in. And it has boxes of things in it waiting to be put together and brought to life…