Apple Releases First Swift Playgrounds 3.0 Beta

TestFlight users who have signed up to beta test Apple's Swift Playgrounds coding app can now download the Swift Playgrounds 3.0 Beta, which is available as of this morning. Swift Playgrounds uses Swift 5.0, the beta version of Apple's coding language.

The full extent of what's new in Swift Playgrounds 3.0 isn't clear as of yet, but Apple's release notes for the beta update provide a bit of detail. The new version of the app allows Playground Books to contain directories of Swift code and resources that can be imported for use by any page in the book.


Modules in a book's Modules directory can also be imported to any page in the book. Apple's release notes for the update are below:
New in Swift Playgrounds 3.0 Beta:
Playground Books can now contain directories of Swift code and resources that can be imported for use by any page in that book.

The ./Contents/UserModules/UserCode.playgroundmodule/Sources/UserSource.swift file is editable by users using the new source editor tab.

In addition, the modules in a book's Modules directory (.playgroundbook/Contents/Modules) can be imported by any page in the book, but can't be viewed or edited in the app.

Note: Swift Playgrounds 3.0 beta uses Swift 5 (swiftlang-1001.0.63.8). Code written using other versions of Swift may not work in UserModuleExample.playgroundbook.

Known Issues in Swift Playgrounds 3.0 Beta:

- A playground may get stuck executing when live issues are present. (47896251)

Workaround: Resolve the live issue, return to the document browser and open the playground again.

- A playground may get stuck after recording a movie. (42903135)

Workaround: Force close Swift Playgrounds from the App Switcher, then relaunch the app and open the playground again.
TestFlight users who previously signed up to beta test Swift Playgrounds have access to the beta, but it does not appear that Apple is allowing new testers to sign up at this time.

This is the first beta of Swift Playgrounds 3.0 that Apple has released. The current version of the app available to the public is version 2.2, released back in November.


This article, "Apple Releases First Swift Playgrounds 3.0 Beta" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Launching Free ‘Hour of Code’ Sessions at Apple Retail Stores Starting December 1

Apple today announced that its annual Hour of Code event is set to take place from December 1 to December 14 at all of its retail locations around the world.

Apple customers can register for thousands of free Hour of Code sessions starting today. Hour of Code sessions are available for customers of all ages, with Kids Hour sessions available for aspiring coders aged six to 12.


Children will be able to explore coding using robots, while participants over 12 years of age will be able to attend sessions that use Swift Playgrounds and the iPad to learn coding concepts.

Signups for the Hour of Code sessions at Apple retail stores are available through the Today at Apple section of each retail store website.


Educators are able to host coding sessions in their own classrooms using Swift Playgrounds and Apple's new Hour of Code Facilitator Guide.

Apple is also introducing Swift Coding Club, a new program dedicated to teaching coding with Swift outside of the classroom. Students and mentors can access a new Swift Coding Club kit that provides students aged 8 and older with the ability to create apps and explore coding using Swift Playgrounds and App Development with Swift.

Along with the Swift Coding Club, Apple today is announcing the launch of an upcoming AP Computer Science Principles course syllabus and curriculum to let high school students earn Advanced Placement college credit when learning App Development with Swift.

App Development with Swift certification is also available to students, with certification exams offered via Certiport Authorized Testing Centers worldwide.

Apple has been working on coding programs since 2016, when it first launched its Everyone Can Code initiative. Everyone Can Code is a program and curriculum designed to help students of all ages to learn to code.

According to Apple, more than 5,000 schools, community colleges, and technical colleges around the world are using its Everyone Can Code curriculum.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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Swift Playgrounds Updated With Improved Access to Third-Party Content, Better Touch Gestures

Apple today updated its Swift Playgrounds app for the iPad to version 2.2, introducing a number of improvements.

Third-party content is easier to discover and download within the Swift Playgrounds app, and Apple has made touch gestures for selecting code both more precise and easier to use.


The What's Next feature that's designed to suggest new playgrounds for users to try is now smarter than ever, and the on-screen keyboard has been revamped to show and hide more predictably.

Apple's release notes for the update also say that unspecified bug fixes and performance improvements have been included.
- Third-party content is easy to discover and download for free directly within the app
- Touch gestures for selecting code are more precise and easier to use
- What's Next is smarter about suggesting new playgrounds for you to try
- On-screen keyboard shows and hides more predictably
- Additional bug fixes and performance improvements
The Swift Playgrounds app is designed to teach children and adults how to program through a series of entertaining and educational "Learn to Code" lessons.

Swift Playgrounds was last updated in April with the What's Next feature for suggesting new content to explore within the app.

Swift Playgrounds can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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Apple Updates Swift Playgrounds With New ‘What’s Next’ Feature

Apple today updated its Swift Playgrounds app to version 2.1, introducing new features to the iPad coding app designed to teach children and adults to code through several interactive "Learn to Code" lessons.

The updated app includes a new "What's Next" feature that offers up other playground suggestions to try based on current progress in the Swift Playgrounds app, providing users with a clearer path for learning new coding skills.


Today's update also introduces support for macOS content caching in order to speed up downloads in networks that have multiple Swift Playgrounds users.

Swift Playgrounds 2.1 comes three months after Apple introduced version 2.0 of Swift Playgrounds, an update that added support for subscribing to playgrounds from third-party creators and browsing and downloading third-party content.

The 2.0 update also brought support for robots like IBM's TJbBot and Mekamon, and a new gallery view was added to make it easier to see all available playgrounds you're subscribed to.

Swift Playgrounds can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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Apple Expands ‘Everyone Can Code’ Initiative to Students Around the World

Apple today announced that its "Everyone Can Code" initiative is being expanded to more than 20 colleges and universities outside of the United States. RMIT in Australia, Mercantec in Denmark, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen in the Netherlands, Unitec Institute of Technology in New Zealand, and Plymouth University in the UK are some of the schools that will teach Apple coding classes.

All participating schools will offer Apple's App Development with Swift Curriculum, which is a full-year coding course designed by Apple engineers and educators. The course aims to teach students how to code and design apps for the App Store, and it is open to students of all levels and backgrounds.

"We launched the Everyone Can Code initiative less than a year ago with the ambitious goal of offering instruction in coding to as many people as possible. Our program has been incredibly popular among US schools and colleges, and today marks an important step forward as we expand internationally," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We are proud to work with RMIT and many other schools around the world who share our vision of empowering students with tools that can help them change the world."
According to Apple, RMIT University in Australia will offer one of the broadest implementations of the App Development with Swift Curriculum, making the course available through both a vocational course taught on campus and RMIT Online. RMIT also plans to offer scholarships to school teachers who want to learn to code and a free summer school course at the RMIT City campus.

Apple introduced its App Development with Swift curriculum in early 2017, with the materials available as a free download from the iBooks Store. At the time the initiative was introduced, six community college systems serving 500,000 students across the United States agreed to offer the Apple-designed course. Later in the year, the course expanded to 30 more community college systems in the U.S. before becoming available internationally.

App Development with Swift is offered as part of the Everyone Can Code initiative. Under the program, Apple also offers coding curriculum to students in elementary school, middle school, and high school.


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Apple Updates Swift Playgrounds With New Augmented Reality Challenge

Swift Playgrounds, the Apple-designed iPad app that aims to teach children and adults of all ages how to code using the Swift programming language, was today updated to version 1.6 alongside the release of iOS 11.

The new Swift Playgrounds update introduces a new Augmented Reality challenge that uses ARKit in iOS 11 to showcase Byte's virtual world within the real world. Byte is a Swift Playgrounds character that's used to guide students through the coding process.

Swift Playgrounds now allows students to access the iPad camera in their code, and errors that are in code are more clearly explained for a better understanding of the mistakes that have been made.

Swift Playgrounds can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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