Coding Made Easier: Apple Unveils Swift Playgrounds, App Teaches Kids How to Code Using A Specific Language

By Katherine Pine, Parent Herald June 14, 09:17 am

Two years after Apple released a new coding language called Swift, the tech giant unveiled its latest app called Swift Playgrounds that aims to teach children how to code during the annual developer conference of the company on Monday.

Tech Crunch reported that the project of Apple will be available for the iPad and once it is opened, children will be presented with basic coding lessons and challenges to see if the child is able to comprehend what he or she has learned. Apple pointed out that some of the youngest coders they have come across with are 9 year-olds, and so they developed the app to continue bringing new young programmers into the field.

The basic programming concepts included in the app are loops and conditionals. It also includes fun little animations in order to keep children interested with what they are doing. An animated character is also present to help the children get through simple challenges.

The interface of Swift Playgrounds is graphical and playful since its main target are children. Aside from the interface, Apple also worked on a special keyboard that is child-friendly by having shortcuts and features that make it easier for children to enter codes.

The app will be free as Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that Swift Playgrounds is a new way for new kids to learn how to code as compared to the traditional way.

Aside from Cook, Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, said that he wished Swift Playgrounds was invented when he first started learning how to code. He added, "Swift Playgrounds is the only app of its kind that is both easy enough for students and beginners, yet powerful enough to write real codes. It's an innovative way to bring real coding concepts to life and empower the next generation with the skills they need to express their creativity."

Although there are other mobile apps linked to coding such as Hopscotch and Sphero, Apple's Swift Playgrounds uses a very specific language.

Swift Playground was a project that aimed to teach children how to code back in 2014 by Stefan Mischook. This was after Apple first announced Swift. It is unclear if Mischook had a hand in the mobile app.

The final version of Swift Playgrounds will be available this coming fall.

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