Today, Apple launched Swift Playgrounds, an app designed to help children get into the world of programming in a clear and logical way. It throws in some fun for good measure too.
What is Swift Playgrounds?
For a long time, many companies out there have attempted to make products which are fun to learn programming on. However, programming, for the most part, is nothing but line after line of code. Yes, you can build something brilliant, but you must get through the basics first and that is not fun at all. Apple is set to revolutionize this area.
Swift Playgrounds teaches the Swift Programming Language. This is a programming language which has been created especially for Apple devices. Applications programmed using Swift should be able to run on iOS, Mac, watchOS and tvOS.
The application has been designed to be as simple to understand as possible. No knowledge of programming is required. Throughout the application, you will be guided through various lessons put together by Apple. These lessons will get progressively more difficult as time goes on. Throughout the lessons, the user will be helping a small cartoon character solve puzzles and the like. It is a practical way to teach coding as the user will be able to see their work ‘instantly’ be carried out on the screen in a visually appealing way, something which many other companies developing similar programs have yet to manage with.
It is expected that new lessons will be introduced as time goes on, perhaps user generated, which will enable people to further develop their programming skills. Current ‘advanced’ lessons will enable the child to get to grips with various aspects of Apple devices. This includes learning how to program for Multi-Touch devices, the accelerometer built into the device, as well as the gyroscope.
What will Swift Playgrounds accomplish?
While Apple have yet to state their intentions for the Swift Playgrounds application, it is believed that their goal is to encourage a generation of people to programming for their devices. Since Swift has next-to-no crossover with similar programming languages (bar C and Objective-C), those who learn to program through their applications will be learning how to program for Apple devices only. In a few years, if the Swift Playgrounds application is as successful as Apple hope it will be, thousands upon thousands of quality applications will be unleased on the Apple store. This will generate Apple cash.
In addition to this, Swift Playgrounds is likely to spur people to purchase Apple Mac products to further refine their programming skills.
When can you get Swift Playgrounds?
At the time of writing, Swift Playgrounds should be available on the Apple App Store for you to download. It is a free product.
Those who have already tried out the Swift Playgrounds application, including CNET who were one of the first companies to get their hands on it, are reporting that the application is simple to use while at the same time not dressing up the fact that programming is hard to master.