Apple are about to release Swift Playgrounds for iPad to coinside with the launch of IOS 10. A release date hasn't been set but you can assume it will be before September 2016. Swift Playgrounds is a powerful and intuitive programming language that is going to spark a whole new generation of programmers on the iPad. Swift Playgrounds will allow the development of apps for Apple Watch, TV, Mac and IOS. Extremely popular apps such as Twitter and Strava have been built using Swift language.
Swift playgrounds will be totally open source and compatible with Xcode providing the hard core developers greater range and possibilities. It is not common practice for Apple to make anything open source so the release of Swift Playgrounds can be considered a "big deal" and possibly a trial strategy for future Apple products. It seems as though Apple have finally realised the upside of making their products open source. Apple have previously made everything so proprietary and locked down that external developers haven't been able to tinker with the source code on any of their products. When a software company makes their products open source there is potential for rapid development and greater creativity by developers to "push the envelope" and create amazing things. The power of open source can be seen in the Raspberry Pi. Everything about the Raspberry Pi from hardware to software is completely open source making it a very appealing developer board for schools and industry.
I am genuinely excited about the release of Swift Playgrounds, I can see this being a great way for teachers to include coding and app creation into the digital technologies curriculum. Swift Playgrounds can be used to teach beginner level coders all the way through to advanced level coders. The Swift programming language it set to become one of the most popular programming languages due to app like Swift Playgrounds and its accessibility on an iPad. Kids and big kids alike are going to love it.
Watch the keynote presentation and announcement of Swift Playgrounds at Apple's Word Wide Developer Conference 2016 below.