Tag - Programming
Commenting to the BBC on the Hour of Code initiative that encourages young people to understand some of the basic concepts behind the creation of the games they play, the services they use, and the devices their lives revolve around, Apple SVP of Mac and iOS Software Craig Federighi says that programming -- often thought of as a lonely, isolated activity, is "an incredibly creative medium, not unlike music" and that he wants Apple to do more to "set off a spark" in young learners by using Apple Stores as classrooms more often.
Fulfilling a promise it made last spring, Apple has posted source code for the core libraries, parts of Foundation, and the raw language compiler for Swift, the company's development language -- including some features planned for the future Swift 3, but published now to gain feedback and assist in development. The move enables a number of new use cases for the language, which is deeply integrated into the company's Xcode IDE.
Again this year, Apple Stores around the US are now offering free registration for a child-oriented introductory workshop called "Hour of Code" in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week, which runs December 7–12. The workshops in the US will happen on Thursday, December 10, and the class itself is designed by Code.org, a group that uses popular characters to teach kids computer programming skills.
Cato's Hike: A Programming and Logic Odyssey by Hesham Wahba is an iOS app for helping kids, and adults if they're so inclined, to learn about programming. The app utilizes an object-oriented language of "cards" and customizable maps to demonstrate the various principles. The app is very cute, and we liked the idea of the cards format for the programs. We think Cato's Hike is a good tool for a parent or teacher to guide a would-be programmer to a better understanding of how it's done.
The BBC is continuing in its attempts to promote digital literacy in the United Kingdom, by providing approximately 1 million devices to children. The broadcaster will be providing the Micro Bit, a compact electronic board inspired by the BBC Micro from the 1980s, to students in secondary schools this fall, which it hopes will encourage a new generation of coders to create software.
Edutainment took off in the early 1990s, with games like Math Blaster and The Incredible Machine. For the most part, edutainment games have usually been math or science-centric, with enough history and reading thrown in to keep the mix interesting. However, that's beginning to change with a new dawn of kid-targeted apps. Tynker is one such app, which promises to teach elementary-age children how to code their own video games.
Apple's Swift language, introduced just last June at its Worldwide Developer's Conference, as risen from 68th place to 22nd in the last six months on a ranking of the most widely-used programming languages. Enterprise developer liason firm RedMonk said it had never seen a growth rate so "meteoric" in the history of its rankings, which first appeared in 2010. When "ties" are discounted, the streamlined language has entered the top 20 just seven months after its debut.
Continuing its effort to promote its own streamlined object-oriented programming code Swift, Apple has followed up from its Swift blog with a full-blown mini-site on Apple.com. The new site takes a similar approach to Apple's dedicated mini-sites for education and business, highlighting some of the many apps now built using swift and featuring case studies, profiles and links to tutorials and free resources. The new promotional mini-site is in addition to the regular Swift developer site.
On the same day it announced a new programming language for iOS and OS X apps called Swift -- but ahead of releasing the Xcode 6 IDE needed to actually code in it -- Apple has published a free e-book guide to Swift on the iBookstore. Similar in nature to the educationally-oriented Scala language, Swift overcomes Scala's Java-based slowness by using C, C++ and Objective-C as its base. The new language provides native speed and the support of existing frameworks, while offering a simplified approach to writing code.
The start of Computer Science Education Week (December 9-15) sees both the Democrat and Republican sides of the US government, as well as a number of celebrities and tech giants, endorsing the "Hour of Code." The initiative hopes for approximately five million students in 33,000 schools in 166 countries to spend time learning how to code, as it attempts to make programming more accessible.
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TimePorter carry tote for Apple Watch
Twelvesouth today began shipping TimePorter, a new travel tote and portable charging stand for Apple Watch that that carries a 6m Apple Watch charging cable, extra Watch bands, USB chargers and more. The case also incorporates the Apple Watch Charging Disc, converting your case into a charging and display stand. It is available for $50 in white or black. http://bit.ly/1SCQM4T
WaterField cycling ride pouches
WaterField's new cycling ride pouches are custom-fit to carry both in one compact kit and are ready for the summer cycling season. The Cycling Ride Pouch includes a clear window that allows basic phone access with the phone still safely within the case, and the Cycling Club Pouch incorporates a padded phone pocket to separate up to an iPhone 6 Plus-sized phone from the tool compartment. Both handsome pouches fit neatly in a back jersey pocket, with optimized surface area for comfort. The Cycling Ride Pouch sells for $80, with the Club Pouch retailing for $50. http://bit.ly/1rRqN4e
Dish providing on-site iPhone repair services
Dish has expanded into the iPhone repair industry. Available today, the satellite television company's "Smart Phone Repair" routes a technician directly to a customer's door. DISH's network of technicians in all 50 states will repair cracked screens and replace batteries on Apple's iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. In the coming months, the company intends to expand its service to include additional devices and smartphone accessories. http://bit.ly/1SLaDiW
India rejects Apple's refurb request
Apple's request to the Indian government to be allowed to sell refurbished iPhones has been rejected, a move that will hurt the company's efforts to attract budget-oriented consumers. Opposition to the importation of refurbished iPhones is said to have been led by local smartphone makers (and, it should be noted, Samsung), who feared that lower-cost iPhones would undermine the government's own mandates on manufacturing phones in India, and trigger a flood of used electronics into the marketplace, driving prices generally downward. Currently, Apple has just two percent of the smartphone market there, and is also applying to the government for permission to open directly-controlled Apple Stores. That decision is still pending. http://bloom.bg/1rRgi0I
Amazon Prime Now available via website
Amazon's Prime Now rapid delivery service is now available to use from the web, giving users an alternative to using the normal mobile app. Available as a free option for Prime subscribers in certain areas, the web-based service continues to offer the same selection of goods as the mobile version, and is still free for deliveries within two hours, $8 for within one hour. http://amzn.to/1UvqYgi
SoundCloud Go expands to UK, Ireland
SoundCloud has expanded its subscription service to the United Kingdom and Ireland, its first expansion since launching in the United States in late March. Priced at £10 ($14) per month, SoundCloud Go lets users listen to existing tracks ad-free, as well as complete access to licensed music from major record labels, and the ability to download tracks for offline listening. http://bit.ly/1rhBv35
Maps adds transit for Rio Olympics
On Monday, Apple added public transit directions for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to its Apple Maps program in advance of the 2016 Summer Olympics, which begin on August 5. The addition marks the first time a Brazilian city has gotten the upgraded public transit maps, which include station maps as well as transit schedules and tracking. The transit directions cover ferries as well as bus, subway, and light rail lines. The company has recently expanded transit directions to Montreal in Canada, and Seattle, Portand (Oregon), and other US cities.