Apple Updating Swift Playgrounds to Control Drones, Robots, and Musical Instruments

Today, Apple announced details regarding the App Store and how it has impacted developers all over the world.

And now the company has made another announcement, this time in regards to its Swift Playgrounds app, which is designed to help everyone, even kids, learn how to code using Apple’s development language. The company has announced that Swift Playgrounds will now help people use code to learn how to control real world gadgets, including drones, robots, and even musical instruments.

“More than 1 million kids and adults from around the world are already using Swift Playgrounds to learn the fundamentals of coding with Swift in a fun and interactive way,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Now they can instantly see the code they create and directly control their favorite robots, drones and instruments through Swift Playgrounds. It’s an incredibly exciting and powerful way to learn.”

Apple goes on to list a few of the things that Swift Playgrounds users will be able to program and control through the newly updated app:

  • LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 are incredibly popular in schools around the world and give students the power to explore coding through real-life problem solving as they create and command their own robotic LEGO creatures, vehicles, machines and inventions. With Swift Playgrounds kids can code and interact with their creations’ motors and sensors.
  • Sphero SPRK+, a popular robotic ball, rolls, turns, accelerates and changes colors. Sensors provide feedback when Sphero hits an obstacle, and all of it can be controlled with Swift code.
  • Parrot’s Mambo, Airborne and Rolling Spider drones can take off, land, turn and perform aerial figures like flips, all under the control of code users create.
  • UBTECH’s Jimu Robot MeeBot Kit lets kids program their buildable robot to walk, wave and dance.
  • Dash by Wonder Workshop is an exciting, hands-on learning robot for students, designed to teach the fundamentals of coding, creative problem solving and computational thinking.
  • Skoog is a tactile cube that enables children of all abilities to have fun exploring, creating and playing music with Swift code.

With this latest update, Swift Playgrounds is now on version 1.5. It will be available to download and install from the iOS App Store beginning on Monday, June 5 — the day that this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off.

How many of you out there are using Swift Playgrounds?


  • Swift Playgrounds — Free
[via Apple]