Apple Releases Swift Playgrounds 4 With Support for Creating Apps on iPad

Apple today released Swift Playgrounds 4, an update to the Swift Playgrounds app that's been in the works for some time. The newest version of the app allows iPhone and iPad apps to be created directly on an ‌iPad‌ without the need for a Mac.

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Swift Playgrounds 4 includes App Store Connect integration for uploading a finished app to the ‌App Store‌, plus there is an App Preview feature that shows live updates as you make changes. Apple's release notes for the update are below:

Swift Playgrounds 4.0 features:
- Build iPhone and iPad apps with SwiftUI right on your iPad (requires iPadOS 15.2 or later)
- App Store Connect integration lets you upload your finished app to the App Store
- App Preview shows live updates as you make changes to your app
- Full-screen preview lets you see your app edge-to-edge
- Smart, inline code suggestions help you write code quickly and accurately
- App Projects make it easy to move projects to Xcode and back
- Project-wide search finds results across multiple files
- Snippets Library provides hundreds of SwiftUI controls, symbols, and colors
- Swift Package support lets you include publicly-available code to enhance your apps

Designing and uploading an app on the ‌iPad‌ requires the iPadOS 15.2 update that was released earlier this week. Swift Playgrounds can be downloaded from the ‌App Store‌ for free. [Direct Link]

Apple has also released Swift Playgrounds 4 for the Mac, with support for Swift 5.5.

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Top Rated Comments

darngooddesign Avatar
32 months ago

this is amazing.
also raises a good question: if something has the tools, environment,means to create apps from scratch, does it finally qualify as a computer?
Nah, expect those people to move the goalposts again.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swm Avatar
32 months ago
this is amazing.
also raises a good question: if something has the tools, environment,means to create apps from scratch, does it finally qualify as a computer?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unregistered 4U Avatar
32 months ago

this is amazing.
also raises a good question: if something has the tools, environment,means to create apps from scratch, does it finally qualify as a computer?
computer:
an electronic device for storing and processing data, typically in binary form, according to instructions given to it in a variable program.

It’s always BEEN a computer. :)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erthquake Avatar
32 months ago

You do know iPads support keyboard and mouse, right?
And external monitors.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stella Avatar
32 months ago

this is amazing.
also raises a good question: if something has the tools, environment,means to create apps from scratch, does it finally qualify as a computer?
I'd rather use Mac OS or some other desktop OS that isn't in a walled garden which will restrict the use of 3rd party development tools. The experience will be far better - having multiple applications being shown at once, more RAM, no walled garden.

If you are developing something basic, then an iPad will work for you, but much more, iPad will feel like a crippled / poor experience.

This is for XCode only. Developers use more IDEs than just XCode, outside of the Apple World, and XCode makes for a pretty poor IDE, if you need to use something other than Swift / ObjectiveC.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Conutz Avatar
32 months ago

Exactly, also the elephant in the room: ergonomics, but I'm sure there's plenty of devs dying to develop 6hrs per day fingering a tablet with "real" multitasking.
You do know iPads support keyboard and mouse, right?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)