Apple’s Swift Playgrounds 4 lets programmers submit apps to the App Store

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Swift Playgrounds 4 teaches programming by letting coders command a character called Byte to do things like move around and collect gems.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple on Wednesday released a major new version of Fast playgrounds, its iPad and Mac application designed for teaching children his Swift programming language, which now allows budding coders to submit their projects to the Apple App Store.

Swift Playgrounds introduces programming by allowing coders to control a character named Byte. Programmers learn the basics like commands, variables, loops, and if-this-then-that operations. The code they type is reflected immediately on an on-screen panel, allowing them to immediately see what their changes are accomplishing.

The Swift Playgrounds introductory lesson – updated for Swift 4 playgrounds — extends to more complex and elaborate tutorials. The new version also offers a larger set of detailed demo apps for students to review and copy to see how everything works.

You might not think programming is a necessary skill – indeed, one of the things Apple products do is make digital technology useful even if you don’t have a computer science degree. But the creativity and logical thinking skills it fosters are certainly useful in school and work, and programming is an important career option.

Apple first released Swift Playgrounds five years ago as an iPad app, adding a Mac incarnation with the most recent version 3. Version 4 considerably modernizes the tool, starting with the iPad version. In addition to being able to submit apps to the App Store, Swift Playgrounds also supports Apple’s SwiftUI technology, a UI element framework introduced in 2019 that helps bridge the gap between iPad, iPhone, and Mac.

Just being able to submit apps to Apple’s App Store does not guarantee that the world will be able to try them. That’s because Apple’s usual App Store review process applies. So don’t expect your experimental “hello world” app to show up.

And to submit applications, programmers will need a Apple developer account, Who costs $99 per year. Apple does, however, offer free accounts to schools.

Apple’s Swift programming language is part of a new generation of languages ​​like Firefox Mozilla maker rust (now managed by the independent Rust Foundation) and Go from Google designed to make programmers more productive. These new languages ​​are designed to improve performance, avoid security issues, and take advantage of more hardware features like multi-core processors that weren’t common decades ago.

Swift Playgrounds also serves Apple’s business interests, training people to become the software developers of tomorrow and teaching them how to use Apple’s tools. Swift Playgrounds apps can be submitted to Xcode, Apple’s professional software development tool.

Even though Swift caught on quickly, its predecessor, Objective-C, remains widely used, according to the periodically updated programming language popularity chart from analyst firm RedMonk.

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