Swift Playgrounds

Makes it fun to learn and experiment with code

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Ben Tossell — Community Lead, Product Hunt
Apple have finally released this. Coverage from @TheNextWeb Apple’s iPad app for teaching kids to code in Swift is here h/t @aghoshal

A seriously fun looking way to learn how to code on your iPad!

Notes from the App Store:

Lessons built-in
• Apple-created lessons guide you through the core concepts of programming by using code to solve puzzles
• See your code run in a beautiful, interactive 3D world that you can rotate with a finger and pinch to zoom
• Animations introduce each new coding concept at a high level before you dive into the puzzles
• Choose from three animated characters to carry out the steps of your code
• Glossary covers a comprehensive list of common terms, or tap a word in the instructions for additional help

Explore and create
• Challenges encourage experimentation and creativity by playing with game logic, music, and various other themes
• New challenges are released regularly to keep improving your emerging coding skills
• Interactive coding shows the results of your code instantly, either beside the text or acted out in the live view
• Use your own photos, images, sounds, and files within a program to make it uniquely yours
• Templates are a head start to create your own programs that use graphs, graphics, touch, or a chat with the computer
• Create your own playgrounds from scratch to take your coding skills to entirely new places
• Reset any page to start over, or duplicate and rename any document to give a family member their own copy

Built for touch
• Quick Type suggestions for code are so smart you can write entire programs in just a few taps, no keyboard required
• Tap and hold to grab any command and move it around to change the order of your code
• Drag a brace with your finger to wrap a block of code inside a loop or conditional statement
• Drag and drop snippets of commonly-used code directly into your playground
• Tap a number or color in your code to display a pop-up in which to enter a new value or choose from a color picker
• Amazing new coding keyboard has all the common Swift characters, just swipe to pick the alternate symbol on any key

Real Swift and iOS code
• Learn the same powerful Swift programming language used by the pros to create thousands of apps in the App Store
• Access iOS frameworks such as SpriteKit for 2D games, SceneKit for 3D graphics, UIKit, and more
• Your code has direct control of iPad hardware such as the gyroscope, accelerometer, camera, and touch events
• Use Bluetooth APIs to write programs that control robots and other real-world devices with your iPad
• Every concept and skill you learn directly applies when writing real apps

Share
• Send your creations to friends and family using Messages, Mail, AirDrop, or other Share Sheet extensions
• Record a video of yourself coding or running your creation, complete with your own voice narration
• Broadcast a coding session live to the world using any streaming service app that supports ReplayKit
• Homework hand-in with iTunes U makes it easy to bring coding into the classroom
• Turn on iCloud Drive to enable Xcode on your Mac to edit and extend the same documents that are on your iPad
Cem Carak — Entrepreneur - WhatTuDu & PlanItUp
@bentossell @thenextweb @aghoshal Very cool stuff in my opinion. Excellent product. Thanks Ben for hunting this down.
rahulcap — Product
Compared to other 'visual programming for kids' apps, I love Apple's approach of keeping the real code on the screen and typeable. It makes for an easier transition to 'normal' coding. It's been executed in a way that is still easy for kids - well done!

I hope Apple keeps the platform open enough so that others in the 'coding for kids' ecosystem can build on top of Swift playgrounds, rather than creating custom scripting languages. Everyone will thrive if a single programming environment can be is used to power 3rd-party toys/robots and other educational tools - and Swift looks like a good fit to win in this regard.

I *really* would like to see a 'remix' communities similar to scratch/hopscotch built on top of Swift so that kids can learn from each other! Shall we build one?
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