Apple Swift Playgrounds Educational Coding App Expands to Robots, Drones, and More

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Swift Playgrounds to offer new way to learn to code using robots, drones
  • It is an intuitive programming language for building apps
  • The Swift Playgrounds 1.5 update will be available from June 5

Tech giant Apple has announced that Swift Playgrounds, its educational coding app for iPad, will now offer a new way to learn to code using robots, drones and musical instruments.

Swift Playgrounds is great for students and beginners learning to code with Swift, Apple’s intuitive programming language for building apps.

“More than one million kids and adults from around the world are already using Swift Playgrounds to learn the fundamentals of coding with Swift in a fun and interactive way,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering.

“Now they can instantly see the code they create and directly control their favourite robots, drones and instruments through Swift Playgrounds. It’s an incredibly exciting and powerful way to learn,” added Federighi.

Apple Swift Playgrounds Educational Coding App Expands to Robots, Drones, and More

Apple is working with leading device makers to make it easy to connect to Bluetooth-enabled robots within the Swift Playgrounds app, allowing kids to programme and control popular devices, including LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, Sphero SPRK+, Parrot drones and more.

The Swift Playgrounds 1.5 update will be available as a free download on the App Store starting from June 5.

Swift Playgrounds is compatible with all iPad Air and iPad Pro models and iPad mini 2 and later running iOS 10 or even later versions.

Facebook Expands Personal Fundraising Tools to More People, Causes

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Facebook will let users ask friends and strangers to give them money
  • The company has been testing the tool since March
  • Latest update adds sports and community fundraisers as options

Facebook is expanding its fundraising tools that let users ask friends and strangers to give them money to help pay for education, medical or other expenses. It is now available to everyone in the US.

The company has been testing the tool, which is similar to online fundraising services such as GoFundMe, since March.Facebook Expands Personal Fundraising Tools to More People, Causes

sports and community fundraisers as options. It’s also possible to raise money for medical expenses for pets, crisis relief, funerals, and a slew of other categories.

To start a fundraiser, scroll down the “menu” icon on mobile until you get to the “fundraisers” category. On desktop, visit facebook.com/fundraisers. Facebook says it will review all fundraisers within 24 hours.

There is a fee of 6.9 percent of the total amount raised plus 30 cents for payment processing, vetting and security.

 

Also this week, Facebook tweaked its Trending Topics algorithm to serve up more news sources to users.

The huge social network – which has faced criticism for creating “filter bubbles” that reinforce the views of users, and has been accused of bias in selecting its news sources – said the new design will offer a “carousel” with a variety of websites.

“You’ve always been able to click on a topic to see related posts and stories, but we’ve redesigned the page to make it easier to discover other publications that are covering the story, as well as what your friends and public figures are saying about it,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Another report claimed that Facebook has signed BuzzFeed, Vox, and other content outlets for original video programming.

Written with agency inputs