#31: Learning, Play and Swift Playgrounds

Hello All,

Welcome once again to a Slice of App Pie.

Tips of the Week

A mini-tip this week before my main tip, since I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails about it. The Size class previews in Xcode 8 are representative of several devices with the same aspect ratio and size. The iPhone SE represents the SE, the 5 and the 5S. The iPad Pro 9.7” represents the iPad mini, the iPad and iPad Air. The iPhone 6s is the 6 and the 7 and so on. From the standpoint of size class and layout, these devices are identical.

This week’s tip of the week themes with the post of the week. I’m a big believer in play in education, but in structured play. Before play you need to set a few constraints on play and give a introduction to what you are playing with. My tip is to use both of these when teaching someone to use your app. You’ll see Apple’s ultimate version of this idea in the Swift playgrounds i”ll review this week on the website. You should use it too. Give your user a safe place to play, with some instruction on how to play. Sometimes your app is by nature safe. By safe I mean that doing any action does not harm your user physically or by an expense in time, emotional energy, or money. A calculator is an always safe app. The loser loses little if the application fails or the calculation is wrong while they are learning it. An accounting system, on the other hand can cause legal and financial damage to a company when playing with the system. For the accounting system, a sandbox to play in and try out features in the system in a safe way is a great idea. There’s a lot of middle ground. Some games will make the first level super easy with instruction so users get the idea of the game. That’s what I mean by combining play with constraint.

This Week’s Post

I discuss the learning theory behind play a lot more in this week’s post. It is a review of Swift playgrounds for iPad. I’ve been wanting to write one for a while, but a lot got in the way. A lot is still in the way, but I wanted it done, so you have it this week. From a point of professional development, it is a tool you should be using. I’ve been keeping it open next to my Mac so I can prototype ideas and play with many of the commands I’m trying to write about in my posts. On a plane, an iPad is a lot easier to use than any laptop, and I’ve often coded models and a few view controllers on just my ipad. For a business system user group confrence I attended few weeks ago, I modeled an accounting feature missing from the system in Swift easily on the plane down to Miami. Playgrounds are something to check out.

Publishing News

On to book news. I want Pratical Autolayout to be done. I am looking for a November 1 publication date. There is a lot of work yet to do, but I did find that Kindle may not be as bad as I thought. I have four more chapters to write. I removed another chapter since there are better ways of doing the same thing. That should speed me up. I will be burning the midnight oil a lot here.

The cause of the delays is of course the video courses. I am full under way with the video courses. I’m doing a lot of work on all of them, but I have no definite information about them yet. I have one still in post production, with no date for release. Four more courses I’ve started to write. I’m juggling a lot in the air right now.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be talking to you next week,

Keep Coding.

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