Apple ships Swift Playgrounds for Mac
Apple has just done a good thing.
It has introduced a Mac version of its Siri Playgrounds application kids – and anybody else – can use to learn some of the core skills required to build apps using Swift.
Which is a big deal when you consider the opportunities available to Swift developers.
Apple isn’t playing in Playground
The Swift Playground application was developed in order to teach beginners more about how to build software using Swift. No programming knowledge is needed, the company says.
If you jump inside Swift Playground you will find a collection of built-in puzzle-based lessons designed to show you some of the core concepts of programming.
The idea being that as your comprehension grows you can develop skills to enable you to develop your own unique solutions.
Thanks to iCloud sync support, you can start a playground on the Mac version and then pick up on the iPad app and vice versa.
Of course, because it is a Mac app, Swift Playgrounds offers several Mac-specific features, including the potentially powerful capacity that lets you select parts of commonly used code in order to drag-and-drop it elsewhere in your code construction.
(That may sound a little mundane but is in fact really useful).
And, of course, given the huge number of children and others who only have access to a Mac, Apple just connected millions to learning Swift development with this release.
Which is probably for the best.
“Swift Playgrounds is a revolutionary app for Mac and iPad that makes it fun to learn and experiment with code. You solve interactive puzzles in the guided “Learn to Code” lessons to master the basics of coding, or experiment with a wide range of challenges that let you explore many unique coding experiences.
“Swift Playgrounds requires no coding knowledge, so it’s perfect for students just starting out, from twelve to one-hundred-and-twelve. The whole time you are learning Swift, a powerful programming language created by Apple and used by professionals to build many of today’s most popular apps. Code you write works seamlessly as you move between Mac and iPad.
- 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 and pinch to zoom using the trackpad
- 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 and built-in help pages give detailed information about available commands and frameworks
“Explore and create
- Challenges offer many new opportunities for creativity by playing with game logic, music, and more
- Interactive coding shows the results of your code instantly, either beside the text or acted out in the live view
- Step through your code to highlight each line as it is run
- Use your own photos and images within a program to make it uniquely yours
- Starting points are a head start to create your own playgrounds that display graphics or chat with your Mac
- Create your own playgrounds from scratch to build something totally unique
- Reset any page to start over, or duplicate and rename any playground to try different ideas
“Built for Mac
Code suggestions let you write entire programs in just a few clicks of the mouse
See help along side code suggestions to learn about the available commands
Click and drag a brace to wrap a block of code inside a loop or conditional statement
Drag and drop snippets of commonly-used code directly into your playground
“Real Swift code
Learn the same powerful Swift programming language used by the pros to create thousands of apps
Take your Swift coding skills to the next level using Xcode to develop an app you publish on the App Store
Access powerful frameworks such as SpriteKit for 2D games, SwiftUI for app interfaces, and more
Use Bluetooth APIs to write programs that control robots and other real-world devices
Concepts and skills you learn directly apply when writing real apps
Send your creations to friends and family using Messages, Mail, AirDrop, or other Share Sheet extensions
Start a playground on your Mac, then open on your iPad using iCloud to continue the project.”
You can download Swift Playgrounds for the Mac right here at the Mac App Store.