Apple Releases Swift Playgrounds Coding App for iPad

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Alongside iOS 10, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3, Apple today officially released Swift Playgrounds, a new app aimed at teaching both children and adults how to code through simple interactive coding exercises. It's meant to make learning to code "easy and fun" for everyone.

First announced in June at WWDC, Swift Playgrounds is meant for beginners who have no experience with coding, and it will be deployed in numerous schools around the world as standard curriculum.
Swift Playgrounds

"Everyone should have the opportunity to learn coding, and we are excited to bring Swift Playgrounds to the next generation of programmers looking for a fun and easy way to explore key coding concepts using real code," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "More than 100 schools around the world have already committed to adding Swift Playgrounds to their fall curriculum, and we can't wait to see what students create with it."

Swift Playgrounds is organized into a series of lessons that introduce new concepts and guide users through challenges and puzzles. It's centered on three characters that need to be guided through a graphical world using coding concepts like issuing commands, creating functions, performing loops, and using conditional code and variables. Apple plans to release new lessons on a regular basis.

The app also includes built-in templates that can be modified to create customized programs that can be shared with friends and family, and Swift Playgrounds code can be exported directly to Xcode to be turned into a full iOS or Mac app.

Swift Playgrounds is compatible with all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, along with the iPad mini 2 and later. iOS 10 is required to download the app, which is available for free from the App Store.

Top Rated Comments

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49 months ago
I wish it was available on all apple platforms.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago

Swift Playgrounds for Apple Watch please. I can dream.

Why not on the iPod shuffle? Do we really need a display to learn?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago

Wish this was available on my Mac. Coding would be easier on a computer than on a touch surface imo.

It is!

Download Xcode 8 from the Mac App store. It's free and includes being able to run Swift Playgrounds. Tons of online tutorials.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago
Next step: Xcode for iOS. Build and release from your iPad so they can stop selling the MacMini.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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49 months ago

Oh, seriously? The same Swift Playgrounds as on the iPad?

It doesn't include the lessons, so you have to start from scratch, but on the Mac, you get the benefit of live compiling (no need to press "Run My Code" unless you specifically turn automatic running off).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

iTunes U has good courses from Stanford available for free that cover Xcode and iOS 9, but the basic parts of Swift haven't changed since then so it's still a relevant course. I learned a lot from the "build your own calculator" app. Was amazing to me how quickly I went from installing xcode (and being utterly lost) to writing and installing my own app on my phone. Was about 30-45 minutes. (First app didn't *do* anything except had calculator buttons and a readout display for the buttons pushed. Took a lot longer to get to finished product.) The iBook is great, but when I'm totally new video is more helpful for me.

I'm hoping Swift Playgrounds gets expanded so that it will actually let you build and install apps on the same device it's running on. That would be ground breaking, never seen before functionality in a major mobile os.

In playgrounds, I understand why Apple made the app so flashy with the waterfalls and very animated guy, but I really think it does a disservice to complete newcomers who may not realize that the effort to replicate such from scratch will probably never in their lifetime be within reach. Then again, as we move to higher level languages, "from scratch" will continue to be "soften". Like moving from assembler.

Stanford's iTunes-U course is too slow and doesn't cover much.
Check U-Demy iOS 10 course by Rob Percival.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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