Recently, the Cupertino-based iPhone making giant announced that Swift Playgrounds – its education programming iPad app – will support drones and robots soon. This means that the students and young kids will now be able to write their own Swift code to control several real-world toys and machines.
Apple’s education programming iPad app to support drones and robots
Next Monday, the iPhone maker is releasing the feature. It is partnering with a number of top robotics and toy companies including drone company Parrot, automated BB-8 toy maker Sphero and LEGO. The other companies that are on board for the release are toy robot makers Wonder Workshop and UBTECH, as well as Skoog. (Skoog is the maker of a music cube that depends on Swift code to teach children how to compose songs.)
Last year, during the Worldwide Developers Conference of Apple, the iPad maker launched Swift Playgrounds. Swift Playgrounds is a video game that teaches kids how to code using the Swift programming language of the tech giant. The Verge notes that the app breaks down “how code functions at the most fundamental level and uses colorful environments and visual guides — product manager Tim Triemstra even uses the game industry term “cutscenes” — to explain the effects of code and the power of programming.”
The code is visible on the left side of the iPad screen, either typed in directly by the user or automated to teach a lesson, while an animation that the code can manipulate plays out on the right side of the iPad screen.
Apple wants Swift to be more approachable
Tim Triemstra says, “When we were designing Swift, from the very first days we wanted it to be everyone’s first programming language.” He added that they wanted it to be approachable. The tech giant is attempting to expand its educational focus to hardware from software with a significant number of Playground users.
The tech giant is hoping that Playgrounds will give young kids a whole new reason to learn the secrets of code and engage with programming because Playgrounds will be supporting all manner of robotics. The France-based drone maker Parrot is buying into the new Playgrounds initiative of the Silicon Valley giant, giving support to its Airborne, Mambo, and Rolling Spider drones.
According to the tech giant, “The Swift Playgrounds 1.5 update will be available as a free download on the App Store beginning Monday, June 5.”