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Visit Swift Playgrounds, Apple's programming app for iPad (pictures)

The app offers lots of ways to learn Apple's programming language. Here's a look at it.

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Stephen Shankland
​Apple's Swift Playgrounds app introduces computer science concepts like decomposition, or breaking one large task into several smaller, more manageable ones.
1 of 11 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swift Playgrounds functions

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app introduces computer science concepts like decomposition, or breaking one large task into several smaller, more manageable ones.

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app tries to show how programming is like some real-world tasks.
2 of 11 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swift Playgrounds basic explanations

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app tries to show how programming is like some real-world tasks.

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app uses an example of planting seeds to describe how a "for loop" automates repeated tasks.
3 of 11 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swift Playgrounds 'for loop' explanations

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app uses an example of planting seeds to describe how a "for loop" automates repeated tasks.

App uses graphics to shows how a collection of commands can be grouped into a single function that can be invoked again and again.
4 of 11 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swift Playgrounds editing

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app uses graphics to shows how a collection of commands can be grouped into a single function that can be invoked again and again.

Swift Playgrounds is a touchscreen app and you don't have to type much; suggested commands are at the bottom of the screen.

In Apple's Swift Playgrounds app, you can change text, like adding the word "human," then run the program to see how it works.
5 of 11 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swift Playgrounds noodling around

In Apple's Swift Playgrounds app, you can change text, such as adding the word "human," and then run the program to see how it works.

​Apple's Swift Playgrounds app features three animated characters who gather gems and flip toggle switches on and off. You can create custom functions to control how the character moves, turns and takes other actions.
6 of 11 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swift Playgrounds characters

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app features three animated characters who gather gems and flip toggle switches on and off. You can create custom functions to control how each character moves, turns and takes other actions.

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app has an Answer module that shows basic text interactions with the computer.
7 of 11 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swift Playgrounds editing and testing

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app has an Answer module that outlines how basic text interactions work on the computer.

Swift Playgrounds not just for kids
8 of 11 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swift Playgrounds not just for kids

Apple geared Swift Playgrounds toward kids, but adults can learn about programming through the app too.

One of Apple's Swift Playgrounds challenge modules is the classic Conway game of life using emoji. You can change them if you like, or change the rules that governs how the cells in the grid live or die.
9 of 11 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swift Playgrounds game of life

One of the Swift Playgrounds challenge modules is the classic Conway's Game of Life using emoji. You can change them or change the rules that govern how the cells in the grid live or die.

No matter how much Apple's Swift Playgrounds app simplifies things, object-oriented programming takes some getting used to.
10 of 11 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swift Playgrounds object oriented programming

No matter how much Apple's Swift Playgrounds app simplifies things, object-oriented programming takes some getting used to.

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app offers a shapes section that lets you fiddle with a variety of Swift commands on the left side of the screen and see what happens on the right.
11 of 11 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Swift Playgrounds code changes

Apple's Swift Playgrounds app offers a shapes section that lets you fiddle with a variety of Swift commands on the left side of the screen and see what happens on the right.

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