Devs interviewed on Swift Playgrounds 4. Who else might try app development in the Fall?

Monica Chin at the Verge has interviewed a variety of devs on the newfangled app development abilities in Swift Playgrounds:

In general it seems like no one expects to build really big apps in Swift Playgrounds, but it should be capable of helping folks fiddle. I particularly appreciate the idea that it’ll be useful to build and test new ideas for iOS/iPadOS apps before porting the idea into an “actual” app in Xcode.

In her conclusion, Monica says she’s optimistic about what this means for development on the iPad. I think I agree. I have been brushing up on my dev skills with Obsidian plugins, and I would love to make an actual iPad/iPhone app. Something to satisfy my gripes with the current PDF reading/annotating options, maybe…


Something to satisfy my gripes with the current PDF reading/annotating options, maybe…

FYI I am extremely unsure you can do that in Playgrounds, and pretty sure you can’t (at least not without some serious redoing of a lot of low level stuff) in SwiftUI at the moment.

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I’ll at least work through the tutorials that they mentioned during the Keynote. Depending on whether pure SwiftUI provides enough capability for what I want to do, I may or may not end up writing an app.


If you or anybody has questions about what SwiftUI can and can’t do, hit me up here, I’m reasonably current on SwiftUI 2 and Core Data and I’ll do my best to answer if I can :slightly_smiling_face:

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Interesting. Because of the PDF bit?

Yup. There is no PDF rendering in SwiftUI (that I know of, v2) and until v3 there was no multiline rich text and no serialization of text. Now you can absolutely bridge to UIKit and AppKit but that might escape Playgrounds’ capabilities. If you need to bridge to deeper frameworks, I’d venture you’d be better off on Xcode.


I’m tempted to try it. Last summer I played around with some online courses in making apps and it was pretty fun, so might try to make an app with playgrounds instead of Xcode. Mine idea is pretty simple (text/emoji only, no complex layout) so probably a good fit for swiftUI.