During WWDC last month, Apple introduced an amazing new App that will be available to iPad owners running iOS 10 this fall. The App is called Swift Playgrounds, and it presents a unique way for users of every age and experience level to easily learn how to code in Apple’s Swift coding language at their own pace. iPad owners can follow through the lessons in natural progression, or jump around to specific topics depending on there interest level. In addition, every level can be repeated in any order at any time.
Even if you have no idea what coding is about, or have zero experience writing code of any kind, Swift Playgrounds makes the learning process extremely easy, intuitive and immediately rewarding. There will be additional Playgrounds/Lessons available after the official launch along side iOS 10. However, users who have access to either the Public or Developer betas will automatically have the app downloaded to their iPad and be able to immediately start exploring and mastering the concepts in this interactive programming Playground.
From the moment you launch the app, you are presented with a Featured Section that is like an App Store for Swift Coding lessons. Simple select any or all of them and download the lessons to your Playgrounds page. From here you can launch a lesson and immediately start coding. In Lesson 1 you explore the Fundamentals of Swift where you are exposed to how the language works as well as how to start writing code to solve a puzzle presented in each sub lesson.
As you progress through a lesson they become more challenging and more in-depth. Right from the start, with very little coding experience of my own I was able to progress through all the lessons, build confidence in trying something new and actually learn the basics of coding. Utilizing the touch screen of the iPad to interact with the lesson seems like the perfect fit. It’s great to see the Apple is still developing for the iPad platform. Furthermore, I can see Swift Playgrounds as a unique opportunity to encourage young people to code in a classroom setting. Lessons aren’t too long, and the animations and easy to understand instructions are ideal for keeping the attention of a younger user.
I’m really looking forward to see the potential of Swift Playgrounds, not only as an App, but more importantly, as a tool to start kids coding at an early age where they can learn in a fun, interactive and engaging environment.