New Education Features in iOS 9.3 Include Shared iPads, New Classroom App and Improved Apple ID Management

With iOS 9.3, Apple is introducing a number of new features that are specifically geared towards the education market. Outlined on a new Education Preview site, education-oriented features in the iOS 9 beta include shared iPads for students, a new classroom app, an Apple School Manager feature, and an improved Managed Apple IDs function.

Apple’s new Shared iPad feature is designed for educational systems where a 1:1 student-to-iPad ratio isn’t possible. It gives each student an Apple ID that can be used to log into any iPad in the classroom, with all of the student’s content readily available on any device. That means students can switch from classroom to classroom, logging into an iPad in each class while the iPad remains in the classroom for all students to use during class time.

Students have access to all of their apps, books, and documents when logging on, and for a student that uses the same assigned iPad in a class each day, an intelligent caching system keeps all of their content at the ready. Shared iPad uses a photo login system to make it easy for kids to find their assigned iPad, and a PIN system for logging in makes the system easy for younger children.

Along with Shared iPads, there’s a new Classroom app. With Classroom, teachers can launch the same app on all student iPads at the same time and guide students through the app. A Screen View feature lets teachers see what’s on any student’s iPad at any given time, and it allows teachers to lock apps to keep students on task. There’s also a feature for helping reset student passwords directly within the classroom app.

Apple School Manager, a web-based feature, is designed to give admins a central location for creating Apple IDs, building courses, and managing accounts for students, teachers, and admins. It allows administrators to make volume purchases of books and apps and distribute the content quickly.

Within the Apple School Manager, there are new tools for Managed Apple IDs, which are Apple IDs created specifically for schools. Managed Apple IDs have all of the functionality of a standard Apple ID, but they allow administrators to reset passwords, audit accounts, and assign customized roles to each ID.

Apple has been working on overhauling its iPad in Education program since early 2015, when a leaked email suggested the company was planning on unifying deployment programs, simplifying app distribution, and updating the way student Apple IDs work.

Apple’s new educational features will be available to schools with the launch of iOS 9.3. iOS 9.3 was provided to developers this morning.

Related Roundup: iOS 9
Tags: education, iOS 9.3
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Parallels Desktop 10 Update Brings Windows 10 Technical Preview to Macs [Mac Blog]

Parallels today announced an update to Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac, the company’s software for running non-Apple operating systems safely on a Mac. The new update brings „experimental support“ for Windows 10 and Office Preview for Windows 10 – including the expected Word, Excel, and PowerPoint programs – into Apple’s OS X Yosemite ecosystem.

With the update available as a download within the Parallels Desktop app for existing users/a>, the company promises the Mac-based Windows 10 experience will provide users with „everything Windows 10 has to offer.“ This includes everything from the new Start menu, Photos, Maps app, and Cortana, to the Windows Store beta which offers Office Preview for Windows 10, all available without having to erase the existing functioning operating system.
“Parallels Desktop enjoys very strong support among software developers and IT pros. We are happy to deliver all the tools they need to quickly and safely test or run the latest OS and applications, now including the Windows 10 Technical Preview,” said Parallels president Jack Zubarev. Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac is
available to download for $79.99, with a Student Edition coming in at $39.99. Similarly, users upgrading from existing Parallels Desktop versions, like 8 or 9, can get a discount for version 10, with upgrade pricing set at $49.99. A two-week free trial is available to anyone who wants to try out the program’s features, including the new technical preview of Windows 10, for a limited time frame.




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Buyer’s Guide: Discounts on 2013/2014 Retina MacBook Pros, Apps, and Apple Accessories [Mac Blog]

This week’s Buyer’s Guide includes some deals on the brand new 2014 Retina MacBook Pros, as vendors attempt to draw in customers with lower prices. Many retailers also continue to offer discounts on the previous-generation 2013 Retina MacBook Pros to clear out stock, and we’ve also got some deals on the 11-inch 2014 MacBook Air, several apps, and an array of Apple accessories.

There are no significant deals on iMacs or iPads this week, but prices tend to fluctuate on a week-to-week basis so make sure to check back next week for any new discounts.

Retina MacBook Pro

Several different retailers are already offering up to $119 off the 2014 Retina MacBook Pros, which were first introduced in late July. The 2.6GHz/8GB/128GB 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is available from Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo and MacMall for $1,234.99, a discount of $64. The 2.6GHz/8GB/256GB 13-inch model is available from Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo and MacMall for $1,424.99, while the 2.8GHz/8GB/512GB 13-inch version is available for $1,709.99 from Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo and MacMall.

As for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, the lower end 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB model is available for $1,899.99 from Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo and MacMall, while the 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB model is available for $2,374.99 from Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo and MacMall, a discount of $119.

Steep discounts on the older 2013 Retina MacBook Pros are also available for users looking for a high quality machine at an even lower price. The 2013 13-inch 2.4GHz/4GB/128GB Retina MacBook Pro is available for $1,099 from Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo and MacMall. The 13-inch 2.4GHz/8GB/256GB model is available for $1,299.99 from Best Buy, B&H Photo, and MacMall. The 13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/512GB model is available for $1,599 from Best Buy, B&H Photo, and MacMall.

The 2013 2.0GHz/8GB/256GB 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro can be purchased for $1,599 from B&H Photo, the lowest price we’ve seen on that model yet. Finally, the high end 2013 15-inch 2.3Ghz/16GB/512GB Retina MacBook Pro is available for $2,249 from Amazon, Adorama, B&H Photo and MacMall.

MacBook Air

The only solid 2014 MacBook Air discount this week comes from Adorama and B&H Photo, with both sites offering the entry-level 2014 11-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air for $799, a discount of $100.

The older 2013 MacBook Airs are still available at low prices from some vendors. The higher-end 11-inch 1.3GHz/4GB/256GB MacBook Air is available for $939 from B&H Photo, while the lower-end 11-inch 1.3Ghz/4GB/128GB MacBook air is available for $779 from B&H Photo. The 1.3GHz/4GB/256GB 13-inch MacBook Air can also be purchased for $949 from B&H Photo.

B&H and Adorama, as always, are a good choice for buyers who live outside of New York and New Jersey, as the sites only charge sales tax in those states.

Apps

Apple’s currently running a promotion on 20 different productivity apps in the iOS App Store, dropping the prices by as much as 50 percent on popular apps like Clear, Fantastical 2 for iPhone and iPad, Notability, Launch Center Pro, and Scanner Pro. Check out our post on the promotion for a full list of discounted apps, complete with App Store links.

Apple Accessories

Target is offering discounted prices on iTunes gift cards sent via email, with a $50 card available for $45 and a $100 card available for $90. Groupon is offering a sizable discount on Microsoft Office Home and Student 2011 for Mac, offering it for $99, $40 off the standard price.

A two-pack of Scosche StrikeBASE Wall Chargers for Lightning Devices can be purchased through Woot for $19.99, and the site is also selling a two-pack of the Belkin USB Wall Charger with Rotating Prongs for $14.99.

The Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker is available at the discounted price of $89 from Living Social, $60 off the original price. Groupon is offering the Incase Hard-Shell case for the 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air for just $12.99, a discount of $37.

Apple-branded Earpods are available for $15 from DailySteals, while the 5W USB Power Adapter plus Lightning cable can be purchased from DailySteals for $18.

Before making a purchase of a Mac or iOS device, make sure to consult our Buyer’s Guide to find out if it’s a good time to buy. For example, because the Retina MacBook Pro was updated in July, the Buyer’s Guide indicates that now is a good time to purchase.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.




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