During Apple's opening keynote address at this week's Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco, CEO Tim Cook gave a shout-out to Anvitha Vijay, the youngest ever developer to attend WWDC.

Aged just nine, Vijay applied for and won one of 350 coveted Apple scholarships to attend the conference's coding and programming sessions, which are typically dominated by high school and college students. According to Fortune, the number of women who applied for Apple's scholarship also tripled this year compared to 2015.

Anvitha Vijay 9-year-old developer

Anvitha Vijay, the 9-year-old developer at WWDC 2016 (Image: USA Today)

A resident of Melbourne, Australia, Vijay was selected for a scholarship after she created an iOS app called Smartkins Animals, which lets young users have fun exploring the sights and sounds of over 100 animals. Prior to WWDC, the app had been downloaded "a few hundred times".

"It was like a dream to be here and meet so many people," Vijay said, speaking to USA Today. "I've just touched the tip of the iceberg in coding, there's so much to learn."

Vijay, who has Indian heritage, began teaching herself coding skills at the age of seven by watching YouTube instructional videos and using her mum's iPhone (users have to be aged at least 13 to hold an iTunes account). She said she was motivated to make an app using Xcode to teach her younger sister how to identify the names of animals.

"I want to be an innovator, to build things that people will love and benefit from," said Vijay as she handed WWDC attendees her business card, on which reads the motto: "I want to make a difference in people's lives through technology."

Vijay has now progressed to Apple's more advanced Swift programming language to develop a new app she's calling GoalsHi, which aims to give students more confidence in the classroom.

During Apple's WWDC keynote, the company revealed a new educational app called "Swift Playgrounds", which aims to introduce users to a new way to learn to code with Swift on an iPad.

The free app, due to be released with iOS 10 this fall, features custom "learn to code" lessons that focus on crafting visual cues around numeric coding data to slowly introduce kids into the world of coding.

All iPad Air and iPad Pro models will be compatible with the app, as well as iPad mini 2-and-later devices.

Related Roundup: WWDC 2021

Top Rated Comments

OllyW Avatar
67 months ago
Isn't she Indian?
She is from Australia.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AdeFowler Avatar
67 months ago
What a time to be alive!

Amazing to see someone so young with such ambition and drive.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
67 months ago
Affirmative Action is written all over this.
You forgot the /sarc tag so let me add it for you....

Affirmative Action is written all over this. /sarc
But to be clear it's obvious she is an exceptional child and invited based on her accomplishments. I don't know any 7 year kid intellectually curious or disciplined enough to learn code off of YouTube videos so that at 9 they have a published app. It's great she got this opportunity to expand her talent and skills.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Goldex Avatar
67 months ago
She's just as old as the iPhone!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
67 months ago
Awwh, this is a great story. :)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scrivener Avatar
67 months ago
Isn't she Indian?
I'm of Irish heritage and was born in Australia - of Irish and Irish-Scottish parents - I'm Australian. She is of Indian heritage and I understand she was born in Australia of Indian parents - she is Australian. In any case, anyone who is naturalised Australian is Australian. Our real claimants to this land are aboriginal. I guess you must be a Red Indian with no other heritage to feel that you are American, but then I have never heard a genuine Red Indian express a feeling that someone else's race or heritage is a measure of a person. A very famous and inspirational American and one of my heroes said it is the content of someones mind that distinguishes a person, not the colour of their skin.
She is just lovely school kid with supportive parents and teachers and a flair for coding. Why pull the race card on a nine-year-old little girl? It's just arrogant and tasteless.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
General Apps Messages

All Three Major U.S. Carriers and Google Adopt Rich Communication Services, But No Sign of Apple Interest

Tuesday July 20, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
For the last several years, Google has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS. RCS is designed to replace SMS, the current text message standard, and it offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file sizes, better encryption, improved group chat, and more. Verizon today announced that it is planning to adopt...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
macOS Malware Feature

Common Windows Malware Can Now Infect Macs

Wednesday July 21, 2021 8:13 am PDT by
A common form of malware on Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called "XLoader" that can also target macOS (via Bleeping Computer). Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader is a form of cross-platform malware advertised as a botnet with no dependencies. It is used to steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files. ...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature teal

AirPods 3 Mass Production Said to Kick Off in August

Tuesday July 20, 2021 8:40 pm PDT by
Mass production of the third-generation AirPods will kick off in August, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. They will reportedly join a number of other products such as the iPhone 13 lineup and redesigned MacBook Pro models as launches coming before the end of the year. Renderings of rumored third-generation AirPods design Rumored launch dates for the third-generation AirPods have...