Apple Expands Swift Playgrounds App for Robot and Drone Programming

Apple has updated the iPad app Swift Playgrounds that can now also be used for programming drones, robots and musical instruments. The app supports Lego Mindstorms, among other things.

Swift Playgrounds is Apple’s app for the iPad that allows beginners to get started with the Swift programming language to create apps, but Apple is expanding the functionality so that gadgets can also be controlled via Bluetooth. This allows users to program and operate the motors and sensors of Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots.

The Swift code can also control the sensors of the Sphero SPRK+ ball and the Parrot drones Mambo, Airborne and Rolling Spider can be operated. In addition, there is support for the Dash robot, the Jimu Robot MeeBot Kit from Ubtech and the Skoog cube with music interface. Version 1.5 of Swift Playgrounds will be available June 5 for free for the iPad Air and Pro models and for the iPad mini 2 and later with iOS 10 or later versions.

In an additional statement, Apple reports that developers have made more than $70 billion in total from their apps in the App Store, and that downloads have increased by 70 percent in the past year.