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Apple brings coding to the iPad with Swift Playground

Introduced as a new way for children to learn how to code, Apple will bring its Swift programming language to iPad with Swift Playground, a touch-friendly way for beginners to grasp the basics.

In an onstage demonstration, Apple showed how it plans to "engage and motivate learners" with a series of lessons on how to write for Swift. Users learn the basics of programming by moving an onscreen character with code, solving puzzles and accomplishing goals in a game-like scenario.

When using Swift Playground, commands appear at the bottom like QuickType suggestions intended for code. In an onstage demonstration, Apple showed how users could move a character and pick up gems in a simplified way to teach the basics of code.

Advanced coding is also available in Swift Playground, with one demo called "Physics Emoji" showing a creation where emojis move on the screen based on code that modifies virtual gravity on the screen.

Apple also created an all-new coding keyboard for Swift Playground, offering easy access to the letters and symbols coders are most likely to use.

Swift Playground will ship this fall with iOS 10, available in the iOS App Store. The free app will be available to test in the developer beta, starting today, and the public beta set to launch in July.