Fun at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)

Fun at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)

So here's something cool!

This week I had the chance to go to Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference outside of San Francisco - I'm still there right now as I type this, actually - and it's been quite the experience. Sort of a cross between a long business meeting and a rock concert.

wwdc

There were quite a few things that excited me for our industry: Better synthesized voices; lower iPad price points and a hint of head tracking technology; another option for environmental control tied to assistive technology (the HomePod), and a really major shift in the app store that will help fix the problem of the same few options hovering at #1 for months. There were also some things that didn't excite me - like the $5,000 iMac Pro, the minimal evolution of the Apple watch (I really want it to be a useful option for augmentative/alternative communication), and a new file and window system on iPads that looks like it will be pretty confusing.

The most interesting thing to me, though - and what I really want to share with you - is what the less expensive introduction of the new iPads did to the prices of the old iPads. A quick look at Best Buy or Target or Amazon shows that they've absolutely plummeted. So - if you need an iPad for AAC or education (or want to replace an old one), this is definitely the time. 

I'm always looking for sub-$200 (or $150 or $100) iOS options for families, so I compiled some links to the best deals I could find on Amazon. Note that these prices are at the time I post them, and many are low in stock, so they might vanish or change quickly. Also, I stopped below $200 - there are higher end ones available with big discounts - and I'm erring on the side of Wi-Fi only and small storage size; you can always step it up for a small amount more. Without further ado:

1st Gen iPad, 16gb: $61 - http://amzn.to/2qXxh5r
2nd Gen iPad, 16gb: $89 - http://amzn.to/2rOXfXR
1st Gen iPad Mini, 16gb: $105 - http://amzn.to/2r1iBNN
2nd Gen iPad Mini, 16gb: $113 - http://amzn.to/2qXjQCp
iPad 2, 16gb: $125 - http://amzn.to/2rPqE4o
3rd Gen iPad, 16gb: $133 - http://amzn.to/2rwEkRa
iPad Retina, 16gb: $149 - http://amzn.to/2qXbElC
3rd Gen iPad Mini, 16gb: $183 - http://amzn.to/2qSyWov

Anyway, there's a sample from Amazon; I'm sure other retailers have deals as well. I saw many today being offered free or even with refunds if activated with a cell line.

I do want to put in one plug here for another huge price drop, which is the Microsoft Surface 3 tablet with Atom processor, $289 - http://amzn.to/2rPgnFd

It's more expensive but it's the least expensive chair-mountable tablet that works well and consistently as an eye gaze SGD. I used one recently to build a system for a young girl with Rett and the total hardware cost was something like $650 - here's a video: https://goo.gl/2fUZ8M. The first half is how-to, the second is the actual install. Just food for thought if that's your need because tablets with the oomph for good eye tracking are relatively new.

Anyway, happy shopping! Meanwhile, that new 10.7" iPad looks pretty neat, I always thought the 12" was too big to be portable but I do have some students with fine motor concerns that make a standard iPad too small. Maybe it's time to go to the Apple store ...

- Lucas

A Warm Welcome in Nine Languages

A Warm Welcome in Nine Languages

Well it's been quite a week!