Review of Playgrounds, Apple's Swift Code Learning Game.

Apple’s “Playgrounds” application runs on the iPad, and gives programmers new to the Swift language a new and sort of fun way to learn Swift Code.

Playgrounds is a game-type interface that consists of telling this alien looking thing how to get around his environment and how to accomplish various things like toggling on switches, and collecting some prize by jumping.

The app starts out very simply, and progresses slowly in a way that even my 7 year old was able to make it through the first nine lessons until it got to functions. She could still accomplish the lessons, but used previous coding skills to do them, not really the way the app is intended. Still, I can’t tell you how cool it was to see her attempting lessons that I was doing that I thought were pretty involved (25 lessons into it). It wasn’t a chore to here, it was fun. Even the difficult stuff has an air of frivolousness to it – so it isn’t like it really makes you angry when you can’t get a lesson. You just keep going until you DO get it, because you’re not going to let this stupid Swift alien beat you at the game.

Apple’ Swift Playgrounds Review

REASONABLY PRICED?

Free! Apple is pretty intent on increasing the number of competent Swift coders in the next couple years, and this app shows that commitment.

EASY TO USE?

Playgrounds IS easy to use, as I said, my 7 year old daughter was doing a lot of the beginner lessons, and getting the concepts down. It starts out really easy, and then becomes like a sort of IQ test as you start getting up into the harder stuff. It’s a blast to play, and just writing this review has made me look forward to playing some in bed tonight when I should be sleeping!

FUN?

It is fun. It’s sort of stupid for a while at first, but then it gets more challenging, and you realize, this thing is not playing around. There are serious challenges to be met. The new functions are introduced gently, so it hardly feels like you’re even learning anything new.

SLOW PACED?

The Playgrounds app is taken at whatever pace you choose. There are 48 lessons in the first level, and another 45 lessons in the second level. That ought to keep you busy for about 2 weeks solid, even if you’re doing it a couple hours every day.

TEACHES BASIC SWIFT CONCEPTS?

TEACHES MODERATE OR ADVANCED SWIFT CONCEPTS?

FINAL WORD ON APPLE’S PLAYGROUND APP TO HELP YOU LEARN SWIFT CODE?

Awesome. What a great way to get your feet wet just screwing around with this app, until it becomes a full-blown obsession to get through all the levels. I’m only at level 25 right now, having taken a bit of time off while I’ve been going through some great online Swift Code Tutorials at YouTube, like “Code with Chris’s” free 17 video course. I’m looking forward to solving all the puzzles in this Playground app, and using it to help me get just a little closer to my goal of becoming a competing IOS App developer within the next couple of months.

If you have an iPad, you can download this cool little app in the app store. It doesn’t work with iPhone or desktop computer. It’d be too small for the iPhone, but for the MacBook Pro, I’m not sure why they didn’t make it compatible. Anyway… well worth the price of Free!