“Swift Playgrounds is a wonderful introduction to programming,” Paul Miller writes for The Verge. “It introduces imperative logic, functions, methods, loops, and many of the marvelous APIs that are available to iOS developers.”

“But it’s called a ‘playground’ for a reason: you can’t make an app with Swift Playgrounds,” Miller writes. “You play with code, you learn about code, and you do indeed code. But if you want to build something useful and distributable, you need to look elsewhere.”

“Inside the Apple ecosystem, this ‘elsewhere’ is called Xcode. It’s a huge and complicated application that runs only on Macs, and requires an Apple Developer account to effectively distribute the software you build,” Miller writes. “I probably wouldn’t recommend a kid learn Swift as their first programming language, not because it’s not a great and interesting language, but because the barrier to distribution and the creation of useful software is so high. The Xcode cliff is a steep one.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Miller is right in that “Apple would do its learners a huge service by providing them an Xcode equivalent on the iPad… because it would give iPad-bound learners a chance to engage that challenge and grow into true application developers in time.”

Perhaps something like that is coming for WWDC 2018?

After all, Apple, “What’s a computer?”

70 colleges and universities in Europe adopt Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative – January 19, 2018
Apple opens ‘Everyone Can Code’ initiative to students around the world – November 9, 2017