News

Apple’s cheaper iPad improves the classroom experience

It’s called the Everyone Can Create initiative

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Students today can scarcely remember a time when the iPad was just a toy, not a tool in the classroom. Especially with Apple’s newly announced initiatives, it looks like the iPad’s days as a gimmick device are finally over.

Announcing a cheaper iPad and a creative suite of apps, Apple is keeping their tablet optimized for the classroom.

Formally known as Everyone Can Create, the new curriculum integrates creative subjects like illustration and music into the classroom. It also joins the Everyone Can Code initiative, a similar plan that teaches students how to write code.

The Everyone Can Create curriculum is built specifically for Apple’s new iPad. The new beast carries a large Retina display, an A10 Fusion chip, Pencil compatibility, and a cheaper US$ 468 price tag. It also comes with the standard suite of creation apps — Pages, Numbers, Keynote, GarageBand, Clips, and iMovie.

More importantly, the initiative uses teaching guides and resources to combines the iPad’s creative power with the lessons of the classroom. For example, it teaches users how to sketch fractals and equations with the Pencil and the camera.

It will also come with a new app (available on the cheaper iPad variant) called Schoolwork. Schoolwork simplifies the entire classroom ecosystem into an easy-to-use app. Teachers can create worksheets and assign them to students with just a swish and a click. They can also monitor a student’s progress using the app. Finally, Schoolwork already integrates with a number of educational apps like Nearpod and Tynker.

The new iPads are also compatible with the Classroom app, an assistant program that allows teachers to manage their students’ iPads during class time. With it, teachers can pull up slides, textbooks, and worksheets while having class.

As if that wasn’t enough, compatible devices will receive 200GB of free iCloud storage for their projects and files. Also, Apple has updated the Pencil for use on the iWork suite of apps (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote).

Apple will start teaching the Everyone Can Create curriculum during their regular Today at Apple sessions in 501 stores across 21 countries in spring.

SEE ALSO: Apple announces cheaper iPad that’s compatible with the Apple Pencil

Gaming

Microsoft to hold a big Xbox event on July 23

Time to showcase the console’s new games

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Last month, Sony hosted the most eventful games showcase for the PlayStation 5. Besides a game for everyone, the event finally unveiled the mysterious console in all its glory. Naturally, all the hype is on the PlayStation 5. To those intently following the console wars, the inherent question is what Microsoft has up its sleeve for the Xbox Series X.

Now, Microsoft has confirmed that it is taking the same route as the PlayStation 5. Specifically, the company will hold a similar games showcase on July 23. The event will likely feature all the current projects from the Xbox Games Studios. This includes the new Halo Infinity, a potential return to Fable, Psychonauts 2, and Gears of War.

Of course, as with the PlayStation event, we weren’t really expecting anything. However, the event probably has a few tricks up its sleeve. If anything, it will also showcase the console itself. Though we already know what it looks like, Microsoft can still reveal a few more details about the upcoming console, especially if it hopes to upend the hype generated by the PlayStation 5.

Recently, a leak hinted at a more affordable console in the series. Given that the PlayStation 5 will also have a Digital Edition, the Xbox Series X might go the same route.

The series will likely launch sometime during the holiday season.

SEE ALSO: Will PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X games be more expensive?

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News

OnePlus Nord launch date has been leaked

Coming on July 21

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OnePlus has made its next smartphone launch a fun one for fans and followers. Instead of wallowing in secrecy, the company has reveled in tiny teases and enigmatic hints for the upcoming midrange series, the OnePlus Nord. Since the launch of the first teaser Instagram account, the series has been fun to follow.

However, despite carefully controlling the outflow of hints, a few details can slip through the cracks. In particular, Amazon India has mistakenly released a product that explicitly points to a July 21 launch for the OnePlus Nord.

The product is a physical invite for an augmented-reality launch party for the series. Further, the invite includes an “assured gift for everyone” plus an instant entry into a lottery for additional prizes including the Nord itself. Shortly after, Amazon India pulled the invite from the official site. However, you can still view it from a cached version.

Though the invite is gone from the store, the phone itself still exists on Amazon India. However, the information there is more controlled, previewing only a few details.

After the leak was pulled, OnePlus CEO Carl Pei revealed another important detail about the series: “Flagship camera incoming.” As we reported previously, the smartphone is expected to come with a 64-megapixel triple rear camera combination. A flagship camera on a midrange phone is a big claim, if ever.

With the OnePlus Nord all but confirming its launch date, we’re set for an eventful end of July and start of August. Samsung is also expected to launch the Galaxy Note 20 series shortly after.

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Apps

Instagram actively testing Reels to take on TikTok

Short 15-second videos

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Short videos under 15 seconds have gained massive popularity thanks to platforms like TikTok. Facebook-owned Instagram has been eyeing this space for a while and has reportedly expanded testing its Reels feature in India.

According to Business Insider, the Reels feature is being actively tested in India. This only after just a few days after TikTok was banned in the country.

The app will let the user record 15-second videos, add background soundtrack, as well as include a range of effects.

TikTok has come under immense pressure globally due to its poor data collection policies. The app was recently caught snooping around the user’s clipboard after Apple updated iOS’s privacy features. US lawmakers are worried about user data being collected.

However, Facebook itself is no saint when it comes to handling private user data. The company has a history of mishaps and the platform hasn’t learned anything from its mistakes.

The feature is currently active in Brazil and acts as an extension to Stories. You can find it in Instagram’s camera section, just beside the Boomerang and Super Zoom option.

The company had previously launched a separate app called Lasso. However, it was phased out and Reels was integrated into the Instagram app.

The sudden ban of TikTok has created a vacuum in India and it’s obvious Facebook wants to quickly bridge the gap by providing an alternate service.

Facebook and Instagram recently partnered with Saregama music label in India to provide access to a music library. The Indian government has also launched an app challenge that aims to encourage domestic developers and companies to take advantage of the recent ban.

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