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Apple Swift Playgrounds iPad Coding App Can Teach Kids Programming Skills

By Victor Thomson , Sep 13, 2016 03:00 AM EDT
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The high-tech giant Apple has announced that the Swift Playgrounds app based on the Swift language used for Linux, OS X, iOS, tvOS and WatchOS will be launched on Tuesday, Sept. 13, alongside iOS 10.

Apple's Swift Playgrounds Coding App

According to Engadget, there are already many of initiatives to teach kids how to code, including ventures from Minecraft, Google and even the Star Wars franchise. However, with the Swift Playground coding app for iPad the high-tech giant is taking things a step further and it is actually prepping kids for a potential career at Apple.

According to Mashable, Apple introduced the Swift programming language a few years ago as a sort of simple gateway for deeper Xcode programming. In Apple's vision, the Swift programming language could become the basic foundation of real apps in the formal language.

Apple's new, free code-training app Swift Playgrounds is aimed at a large audience, from young kids to older students. Apple also introduced Everyone Can Code during the recent iPhone 7 launch.

Apple's Everyone Can Code Initiative

Everyone Can Code is an educational initiative designed by Apple as a means to help get Swift code training being introduced widely into schools and curriculums. In this context, the Swift Playgrounds app is just a key part of that larger program.

Starting today, the Swift Playgrounds iPad coding tool is available in the app store for free download. This iPad-based code school is partially just a coding playground where students can repeatedly try out different calls, commands and code variations in order to create entertaining animations. What's interesting here is the fact that the app works on the iPad platform that's generally seen more of a place to consume the result of code, rather than a place to create it.

The basic lesson plans in the Swift Playgrounds coding app are called Fundamentals of Swift and Beyond the Basics. The app's interface is straight forward, presenting an animated environment on the right side of the screen and the code on the left-hand side. The code is driving the animation almost in real time.

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