Apple wants iOS to be the first language your child learns

A new game will help kids, and everyone else, learn how to code. Apple is launching Swift Playgrounds for iPad later this year, free in the App Store.

In this game players can control a character named Byte by using real Swift code. Concepts like code fencing and loops are introduced as game mechanics to solve puzzles. Players learn more real coding skills as they progress through the game, as puzzles require increasingly complex movements in order to be solved. There’s also a sandbox mode, where users can create environments using code.

WWDC 2016: WatchOS 3 supercharges the Apple Watch with extra speed and Minnie Mouse

A demo by Cheryl Thomas. VP, Software Engineering Operations at Apple, showed off the main game. Players use Swift code to order Byte to do things like step forward and eat gems. Thomas also showed off a physics environment full of emoji, and showed how users can adjust the physics of the world and other properties by adjusting the code.

The idea here is for would-be programmers to learn Swift before any other language, as Apple CEO Tim Cook made clear.

“Swift is powerful, but it’s also simple and approachable, so it can be your very first programming language,” said Cook.

Apple has been working hard to promote Swift, going so far as to open source the programming language last year. The idea, no doubt, it to shore up Apple’s developer base.

The game fits in the same vein. The more developers who speak Swift “natively,” the more developers who think of Apple’s platforms first. Releasing the application on iPad helps make it accessible, potentially reaching people who otherwise wouldn’t consider learning to code.

“Because Swift is so easy to learn, it has the potential to bring many more people into coding,” said Cook.

Only time will tell how effective this new game is at teaching non-programmers to create in Swift.

Mobile

You can now message businesses straight through Google Maps

Google has been updating Maps with a ton of new features over the past few months, and now it's back with another one -- the ability for users to message businesses directly through the Maps app.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

These cheat codes made gaming history

For almost as long as video games have existed, there have been video game cheat codes. Here are some of the most famous cheat codes, including the legendary Konami Code found in dozens of games.
Deals

These 30 Amazon Coupons can help you save on the things you need

Did you know there are thousands of Amazon Coupons and promo codes that you can take advantage of? We found coupons for everything from tech to everyday products. Find out what savings you've been missing out on.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Mobile

No cash. No talking. What goes next? Welcome to your ‘app-tive’ digital life

Bank of America's 2018 Trends in Consumer Mobility Report found mobility has changed our lives. Mobile tech influences how most of us communicate, meet people, build relationships, and handle money as we move toward a cashless society.
Mobile

The Motiv smart ring is coming to 20 more countries and physical stores

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.
Wearables

Everything you need to know about Garmin’s GPS watches and trackers

Garmin jumped into the GPS smartwatch and fitness tracker market five years ago and has built a portfolio of devices that rivals competitor Fitbit. Here's your guide to the latest and greatest fitness devices that Garmin has to offer.
Mobile

Sharp doubles down on the notch trend with Aquos R2 Compact

As if one notch wasn't enough, Japanese manufacturer Sharp unveiled a new smartphone that has two -- one teardrop style notch at the top, and a bigger notch at the bottom. Here's what the world's first dual-notch smartphone looks like.
Mobile

Verizon has made its first 5G video call … with a phone that’s already out

Verizon has announced that it has successfully made its first video call, using a smartphone that's already available: The Motorola Moto Z3. To make the call, Verizon used the 5G Moto Mod.
Mobile

Samsung patents show what Infinity-O display could look like on Galaxy S10

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Mobile

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.