Here comes Apple’s spring event – and it’s an education

New iPads, an Apple Pencil and something special for education lead speculation as Apple invites media to March 27 “field trip” in Chicago, which appears to be its spring event.Let’s take a field trip
The invitation reads, “Let’s take a field trip”. It appears as if it has been handwritten, featuring an ink-like drawn Apple logo and the phrase.It’s not unusual for Apple to hold a launch event in March – it most recently did so in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016.Underneath the calligraphic elements the note continues to read, “Join us to hear creative new ideas for teachers and students”.To read this article in full, please click here


Original URL: https://www.computerworld.com/article/3264004/apple-ios/here-comes-apple-s-spring-event-and-its-an-education.html#tk.rss_all  

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Financial analysts forecast first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales

Later today, Apple will announce downbeat results from the first quarter of 2016, nearly three dozen financial analysts bet today.

According to Philip Elmer-DeWitt, who formerly blogged about Apple for Fortune but left the magazine earlier this month to kick off his own Apple 3.0 subscription-based site, all 11 independent and 19 institutional analysts pegged rare year-over-year declines in Apple’s revenue and a fall in unit sales of its iPhone and iPad lines. Most of the 30 analysts also bet that Mac sales would also slip from the same quarter of 2015.

Elmer-DeWitt has been collecting and averaging financial analysts’ forecasts for years, and continued the chore on his new site.

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Original URL: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3061775/apple-ios/financial-analysts-forecast-first-ever-year-over-year-decline-in-iphone-sales.html#tk.rss_all  

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First Ubuntu tablet available for pre-order

The first Ubuntu-based convergence tablet is finally here.

Ubuntu-maker Canonical and BQ, an electronics maker based in Spain, opened the BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition for preorder today, with global shipping prices starting at €259.90 (about $291). The devices are slated to start shipping in early April.

Protip: If you’re ordering the Ubuntu Tablet, make sure you click through to BQ from Canonical’s tablet devices page to get the worldwide pricing and shipping options.

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Original URL: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3048968/linux/first-ubuntu-tablet-available-for-pre-order.html#tk.rss_all  

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Step aside, iPad Pro: Google may have a real tablet game changer

Project Ara logoThe all-new, all-littler iPad Pro has not exactly overwhelmed even Apple fans. Its slower CPU and smaller RAM probably didn’t help. Now The Motley Fool, hardly the best-known tech rumor site, under the headline “Is Google About to Reinvent the Tablet?,” has shared hints of the new Google product which it claims could be “the most revolutionary new tablet in years” and the tablet game changer Apple may have been hoping for. Because the source The Motley Fool quotes, the GFXBench Database, lists details of a 13.8″ Google Project Ara device, which could be a high-spec modular tablet.

The device’s specs in themselves are pretty attractive – a 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core CPU, with a separate Qualcomm Adreno 430 GPU, Android 6, and 2.7 GB of RAM, as well as the 1920 x 1080 big screen. But it’s the designation itself that is more interesting. As The Motley Fool emphasizes, Project Ara is Google’s handle for its so-far still nascent modular smartphone initiative, which also hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. A Project Ara tablet, though, could offer far more unique differentiation than Apple has so far been able to achieve with the iPad range. And this follows a rather dramatic restyling of the Project Ara website, now sporting the enigmatic logo above.

What could that entail? For e-reading fans, one attractive possibility could be an eink add-on module to give users the option of an epaper back. Or productivity add-ons such as a keyboard or stylus to go with the multi-window capabilities of the latest iteration of the Android OS. Never mind that the massive screen on the Project Ara tablet sounds a pretty juicy ebook reader option in itself. “Android tablets have been cheap, but not very impressive,” points out The Motley Fool. “With a radical new device, and Android N, that could change.”

Other earlier sightings of the same data haven’t prompted such optimistic speculations. But The Motley Fool‘s timing is significant, coming just after the smaller iPad Pro’s debut. There is no guarantee that the Google Project Ara tablet will ever go into production. But if it does, it’ll be one more proof that innovation in the tablet game has moved on from Apple, and that things could start to get interesting again for e-reading fans.

The post Step aside, iPad Pro: Google may have a real tablet game changer appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.


Original URL: http://www.teleread.com/step-aside-ipad-pro-google-may-real-tablet-game-changer/  

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The Kio Kit packs a classroom’s worth of tablets into a tough travel case

kio-kit-charging-stationFrequent TeleRead commenter Michael W. Perry passed along this story about an interesting tablet kit for developing-world classrooms, made by a Kenyan company called BRCK. BRCK was founded in 2013 for the purpose of making a rugged hybrid WiFi/cellular router for places with poor communication infrastructure. However, in 2015 it launched the Kio Kit—effectively a digital classroom in a box that costs around US $5,000.

The Kio Kit is an almost literal turnkey connected classroom: A water-resistant trunk-sized travel case contains 40 Kio 7-inch tablets and a BRCK router. The travel case wirelessly each charges each tablet, and the whole unit can be charged from either a wall outlet, solar power, or even a car battery. The tablets come pre-loaded with educational software chosen by the purchaser, which can be a mix of free and paid material from providers such as the Kahn Academy or eKitabu, a Kenyan e-book company. Updates can provided through the cloud when connectivity is available.

The individual tablets are $99 each, which isn’t at all a bad price for a tablet of that size, which means the case, charging hardware, and router would come in at around $1,000.

The company has already sold these kits into schools in Kenya, Tanzania, the Solomon Islands, and has been getting inquiries from a number of countries including the US. The company is looking for additional investors, and its business manager says he would like to see Kio Kits become part of the emergency infrastructure used in refugee camps.

One problem the kits run into is that $5,000 is still a lot of money in the developing world. Even though they’ve gotten some help from banks with zero-interest loans and payment plans, that’s going to be a problem. However, BRCK hopes that parents, the community, and charitable donors can help to fill in the gaps.

It’s really intriguing to watch how the march of technology moves on toward providing better solutions to the issue of bringing education to the developing world. As tablets eclipse laptop use in the developed world, it stands to reason they would do so elsewhere, too. A $99 tablet is a lot more economical than a $400 OLPC laptop, and the rugged construction makes them great for use in the real world. Of course, the hardware is only half the equation—they need good software and media to go with them. But it sounds like they have some good content partners to handle that side of things.

It also sounds like it could be a good solution for US schools, especially ones in disadvantaged regions. Since the tablets don’t have individual chargers and only work when they’re connected to the BRCK router, there are no extra pieces to lose and the tablets are less likely to be stolen. It would be a lot cheaper than buying iPads, and potentially a lot more useful than buying Fires.

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more news about the Kio Kit. It could very well have an important impact on education going forward.

The post The Kio Kit packs a classroom’s worth of tablets into a tough travel case appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.


Original URL: http://www.teleread.com/kio-kit-packs-classrooms-worth-tablets-tough-travel-case/  

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8 easy ways to speed up older iPads (and iPhones)

Apple products hold value in the second user market. You can still raise $69 or more for a first generation iPad on eBay, while you can’t expect the same performance as you enjoy from newer models, you can get much more from an older iPad (or any iOS device) using these eight easy tips.

Restart

Restart flushes the memory to help boost performance. To restart your iPad hold down the Sleep/Wake button and use the Slide to Power Off control when it appears. Wait a few seconds and start the device again.

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Original URL: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3045250/apple-ios/8-easy-ways-to-speed-up-older-ipads-and-iphones.html#tk.rss_all  

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Raspberry Pi 3 adds WiFi, Bluetooth, 64-bit CPU

raspberry-pi-3-640x427The Raspberry Pi just keeps getting tastier. Ars Technica and The Register report on the third generation of the console, which offers a few intriguing new twists and hardware upgrades.

Perhaps most importantly, the Pi now has WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities built into it, freeing up its USB slots for other uses. It also sports a 64-bit 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A53 chip. All available Pi operating systems at the moment are 32-bit, and there are no current plans to upgrade, but the A53 will also serve as a better 32-bit processor than the old 32-bit ARM A7.

As these computers get more and more capable, the potential uses for them expand. I have a friend who’s combined one with a 3D-printed case and 7” display to make a sort of do-it-yourself tablet—much bulkier than an ordinary manufactured tablet, of course, but with the advantage of complete hardware and software openness. And the form factor will undoubtedly improve over time. Who knows—perhaps given a few years, everyone will be slapping their own tablet together from parts rather than buying them pre-made from the store.

The credit-card-sized computer motherboard is now on sale for $35 or £30 from Raspberry Pi’s resellers, such as Element14, Think Allied, and RS Components, depending on whether the Atlantic is east or west of you.

The post Raspberry Pi 3 adds WiFi, Bluetooth, 64-bit CPU appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.


Original URL: http://www.teleread.com/raspberry-pi-3-adds-wifi-bluetooth-64-bit-cpu/  

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