Apple has already been working behind the scenes with several companies, including LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3, Sphere SPRK+, Parrot, and others, to enable Bluetooth-enabled robots to be connected and interfaced with in the Swift Playgrounds app.
On Thursday, Apple announced that, starting June 5, its increasingly popular iPad-based programming app, Swift Playgrounds, can be used to program robots built with LEGO Mindstorms EV3. After that, code created in Swift Playgrounds on that iPad will be able to instantly control the wirelessly-paired device. "It's an incredibly exciting and powerful way to learn", added Federighi.
Apple's educational coding app, Swift Playgrounds, will be getting a big upgrade next week.
The update (Swift Playgrounds version 1.5) will be available as a free download in the App Store.
This is an important development for Apple in the education market.
The addition of drone and robot support expands Swift Playgrounds' content library, and the direct results experienced by students can be satisfying and help maintain interest in coding.
Similarly, Sphero's SPRK+ robotic ball will open up its motors, lights, and sensors to Swift Playgrounds.
- Dash by Wonder Workshop is an exciting, hands-on learning robot for students, created 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. The full-year curriculum, available as a free download in Apple's iBooks Store, was designed by Apple engineers and educators to teach students how to design apps using Swift. Swift Playgrounds is compatible with all iPad Air, iPad Pro and iPad mini 2, and later models running iOS 10 or later.
The goal, Apple says, is to make the immediate impact of software more obvious, not to mention more engaging. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple's more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.