Apple’s Swift Playgrounds 4 is upon us. Announced earlier this year at Apple’s WWDC, the new app allows users to develop apps for iOS and iPadOS directly on an iPad. You can preview apps in real time while you work on them and send them directly to the App Store when you’re done. The program is now live on the App Store for iPad.
“Swift Playgrounds is the best and easiest way to learn how to code,” Apple claimed in its announcement on Apple’s developer website.
Previous iterations of Swift Playgrounds have largely been targeted at children. They’re meant to teach beginners how to code in Swift, and they do so through a series of friendly and colorful puzzles. It has not, in the past, functioned as a standalone developer tool — this is the first time that coders will be able to build full apps within the program.
Apps for iPhone and iPad are largely built and distributed in Xcode, a famously complicated application that only runs on macOS. Developers have been calling for an iPad version of Xcode for years, and while this isn’t exactly that, it could still help to lower the barrier to entry for new iPhone and iPad developers who want to try out their ideas without investing in a Mac.