News Corp pushes its way into the classroom with educational Amplify tablet

Amplify TabletLast year News Corporation announced it had joined forces with AT&T to create an educational platform for tablets, which would be sold expressly for use in schools through its recently formed education business named Amplify. At the time, it gave the impression it would only ever be a piece of software compatible with existing tablets and operating systems.

This has turned out not to be the case, as at a special SXSWedu event News Corp and Amplify have announced the Amplify Tablet, a custom slate which comes pre-installed with Amplify’s software along with third-party educational tools, plus ways for the teacher to interact with students. Amplify hopes that by making the tablet more interactive, it’ll become a key part of everyday lessons instead of the underused tool it considers it to be today. All the Amplify curriculum is there, including educational games, plus teachers and schools can upload their own content onto the Amplify Tablet.

The specification of the tablet is a mystery, but we do know it has a 10-inch screen, runs Google Android as its operating system and has been manufactured by Asus. The OS has been heavily modified for its use in the classroom, with remote access to disable certain applications, the option to send mid-lesson quizzes, and even an, “Eyes on teacher” warning on the screen should the student’s attention wander.

There are several different tablets available, but the basic model with Wi-Fi, along with the curriculum program, training and a support package costs $299 with a mandatory two-year subscription fee of $99 per year. The idea is for students to use the tablet at home and during travel time, and as such a model with 4G connectivity and a data plan can be purchased for $349, with a $179 per year subscription for a minimum of two years.

The basic cost of the Amplify Tablet undercuts the iPad, which Apple has been pushing as a great educational product ever since it was first introduced. Apple claims to have sold 8 million iPad tablets to schools around the world, and offers more than 20,000 educational apps in the App Store, plus an extensive library of text books through iBooks. Amplify is aiming its tablet at K-12 students, which is the same area Apple says the iPad has seen considerable adoption. Apple’s Tim Cook said this was, “One of the things that is so rewarding,” about the iPad, so we can expect the company to watch Amplify’s progress closely; however, Apple’s strong international presence in the educational system will ensure it’s not too worried about Amplify’s arrival just yet.

Mobile

5G is the swift kick VR and AR gaming needs to come to fruition

There's a lot of hype surrounding augmented reality and virtual reality, but is it really the next big thing? We take a look at where the new mediums stand, as well as how 5G is poised to help them break into the mainstream.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for February 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Gaming

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Mobile

Own an unlocked Galaxy S9? The U.S. Android Pie update has landed

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Deals

This discounted smartwatch is a cheap Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa alternative

The Amazfit Bip isn't an Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, but at the discounted price of $67, it's a very affordable alternative packed with useful features. With built-in GPS and 30-day battery life, this cheap smartwatch is a great option to…
Gaming

Xbox's app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Mobile

It looks like Google may get rid of the back button in Android Q

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system -- here's everything we know so far.
Deals

Amazon cuts prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Presidents’ Day

The Apple Watch Series 3 is seeing the same price cut we saw during the Amazon sale just last week. So if you're hoping to pick up an Apple Watch for less than $250, this $50 discount from Amazon can make that happen for you.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Social Media

Instagram to make giving easier with a Stories donation sticker for fundraisers

Instagram is preparing to launch a donation feature within Stories that would allow users to raise cash for a range of nonprofit charities. The company confirmed it's aiming to launch the donation sticker later this year.
Mobile

The Huawei P30 will zoom into view on March 26 in Paris

The Huawei P30 Pro will be announced on March 26, 2019. It has already started to leak ahead of this date, and expectations are high that the company will improve even further on the P20 Pro's camera.
Mobile

First phone specs reveal premium is the path for Vivo spinoff Iqoo

A new smartphone brand has launched. It's called Iqoo, and it's a sub-brand of Vivo, the Chinese device manufacturer owned by BBK Electronics. Excitingly, details about its first phone are slowly being released.