Programming languages transcend international languages with Swift Playgrounds update
Apple’s Swift Playgrounds update, released this week, expands the app’s availability to five new languages: Japanese, German, Simplified Chinese, French and Latin American Spanish, VentureBeat reported. The app is designed to be a fun way to introduce kids and adults alike to programming languages and their basic concepts, such as code strings and variables, through puzzles and challenges. The platform also includes templates to let users create their own apps using Swift, which can be distributed through Apple’s App Store marketplace. For advanced users, there is also an enhanced virtual keyboard allowing more complex functionality.
“The Swift Playgrounds app has helped people of all ages learn the basics of coding, and with more than a million downloads to date, customers and students find it an easy and fun way to get started with Swift,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a company press release. “Hundreds of thousands of iPhone and iPad apps, including some of the most popular in the App Store, use Swift — a programming language we designed to be both powerful and easy for anyone to learn.”
Swift Playgrounds is available on iPads running iOS 10 or later and can be used to program apps for the iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS platforms. Apple unveiled the programming language in 2014 at its annual WWDC; it was in production for four years prior to that. Swift joined the ranks of other major open source programming languages in 2015 when Apple opened it up to third-party developers. The Playgrounds app was unveiled at WWDC 2016.
Cook teased the update the day before it launched in a visit to China-based bike-sharing startup Ofo and fitness company Keep, according to AppleInsider. Apple is also offering a scholarship contest for WWDC 2017 attendance to student programmers who create an interactive Swift playground environment and write an essay on how they have shared their coding knowledge and computer science enthusiasm with others, 9to5Mac reported. Swift reached the top 10 of the TIOBE Index, which ranks the popularity of programming languages, for the first time this month.