Wednesday June 22, 2016 3:40 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
At WWDC last week, Apple revealed its all-new Swift Playgrounds iPad app, which aims to help younger users learn how to code in Apple's programming language by making the experience more interactive and fun. For those unfamiliar with Swift, the open-source language was announced by Apple at WWDC 2014, and developed over four years to be "concise and expressive" in order to make coding for iOS, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch more approachable. Using Swift Playgrounds, Apple invites users to "solve puzzles to master the basics using Swift" and "take on a series of challenges" to step up to more advanced creations. Swift Playgrounds requires no coding knowledge from new learners, but it also "provides a unique way for seasoned developers to quickly bring ideas to life," claims the company. Users start out by learning the underlying concepts of coding, like commands, functions, loops, parameters, conditional code, variables, operators, types, initialization, and bug fixing. The learning takes place as users create code on the left side of the screen, while they observe the results on the right side in real time. Learning to code with Swift Playgrounds is incredibly engaging. The app comes with a complete set of Apple-designed lessons. Play your way through the basics in "Fundamentals of Swift" using real code to guide a character through a 3D world. Then move on to more advanced concepts.The Swift Playground interface supports the iPad's Multi-Touch capabilities, and lets students tap, drag, or type text and numbers, and then interact with their creations.