Apple has launched its new Swift Playgrounds 4 app which allows users to create apps using an iPad. The app supports the development of iPhone and iPad apps, as well as full-screen previews. Users can even publish their apps to the App Store using Swift Playgrounds 4.
The app was originally announced at WWDC 2021, and was one of the biggest iPadOS related announcements from the event. Users have long waited for Apple to officially introduce a way for developers to take advantage of the performance that the iPad offers, and Swift Playgrounds 4 is a major step in that direction.
A beta version of the app was made available to developers over two weeks ago, which gave us a good look at the features and user interface.
Swift Playgrounds 4 supports app development and publishing to the App Store, all from an iPad
While it is still not a full-fledged version of Xcode for iPad, Swift Playgrounds 4 offers smart features like inline code suggestions, live editing, app previews, App Projects to allow moving a project between Xcode and Playgrounds, project-wide search, snippets library, and more.
Bob Borchers, Apple’s VP of Worldwide Product Marketing, and Sebastien Marineau-Mes, VP, Intelligent System Experience at Apple, called Swift Playgrounds 4 a ‘rapid prototyping platform’ for pro developers, allowing them to easily make quick changes without bringing their whole development environment with them everywhere they go.
“Think one of the big insights here was that we also saw a number of kind of pro developers using it as a prototyping platform, and a way to be able to be on the bus, or in the park, or wherever if you wanted to get in and give something a try, this was super accessible and easy way to get there and could be a nice adjunct to hey, I want to learn to code.” -Borchers
“If you’re a developer, it’s actually more productive to be able to run that app on the device that you’re working on because you really get great fidelity. And with the open project format, you can go back and forth between Xcode and Playgrounds. So, as Bob said, we can really envision people using this for a lot of rapid prototyping on the go without having to bring along the rest of their development environment so we think it’s a really, really powerful addition to our development tools this year.” – Marineau-Mes
Here are the complete release notes from Apple for version 4:
- Build iPhone and iPad apps with SwiftUl right on your iPad (requires iPadOS 15.2 or later)
- App Store Connect integration lets you upload your finished app to the App Store
- App Preview shows live updates as you make changes to your app
- Full-screen preview lets you see your app edge-to-edge
- Smart, inline code suggestions help you write code quickly and accurately
- App Projects make it easy to move projects to Xcode and back
- Project-wide search finds results across multiple files
- Snippets Library provides hundreds of SwiftUl controls, symbols, and colors
- Swift Package support lets you include publicly-available code to enhance your apps.
The best thing about Swift Playgrounds 4 is that it is free, and available for all iPad models that support iPadOS 15.2.
Download Swift Playgrounds 4 from App Store