WWDC21 Wish List

Last year we had a little wish list for WWDC, so I figured I would take a look at what we’d love to see today.

Last Year

Well, first, what did we get last year?

From our list, we did wind up getting new books, a whole load of them! Some didn’t ship during WWDC, but now we have Develop in Swift Fundamentals, Develop in Swift Explorations, Develop in Swift Data Collections, Everyone Can Code Adventures. That’s quite a lot of stuff to read through!

We even now have a huge resource in the App Design Workbook, which introduces app design process as well as a bit of SwiftUI in Playgrounds to keep you busy.

One thing on our wishlist was more dev on iPad, and Swift Playgrounds is still getting a lot of love, which is excellent, and getting more interesting with each release on both the Mac and iPad.

This Year’s Wish List

Okay, so what would we love to see this year?

Obviously I’m biased towards things that will help us teach coding, but I’ve got a few more this year I’d love to see under the proverbial WWDC Tree.

Swift Playgrounds

  • I would love to see an easier way to author Swift Playgrounds (like last year). I’ve run two sessions on creating Swift Playground Books, one with the Swift Playground Author Template and one by copying an existing playground book.
  • I loved the sessions on Swift Playgrounds last year, in particular the first in the Swan’s Quest series. It would be amazing to see more this year. Using those sensors is pretty amazing and eye-opening for a lot of students.
  • A Swift Playgrounds Community site: some sort of way to easily share Swift Playgrounds with students, fellow developers, where you can just show off your work easily, would be amazing. Think of it like a dynamic Swift Playground feed people could publish to easily from within the Swift Playgrounds app…

Xcode and teaching Develop in Swift

  • If Xcode had a remote sharing option, so the teacher or co-coder could observe one person typing, that would be an amazing addition to teaching coding. It’d be icing on the cake if we got the same with iPads and Swift Playgrounds, and I need to have a look at the Classroom app update to see if maybe that’s already done.
  • Some of these collaboration features would be a real boon to teaching people how to code, especially in as rich an environment as Xcode, so any more integration with Github, remote sharing, and the rest would be much appreciated
  • A web-based version, for those folks who want to try out Swift and app development, would also be amazing. I really like repl.it, especially with its implementation of the Swift REPL and readLine()… but it never hurts to have more options.

RealityKit and Reality Composer

  • Lastly, and by no means is this an exhaustive list, I would really, really love to see the ability to support more than one image anchor in a Reality Composer scene. We’ve had a few questions lately about supporting them inside the one Reality Scene… and while there are ways to handle this (multiple scenes for each image anchor you want to support, using code and loading ARImageAnchors yourself), this would be a really fun addition to an incredible app. Reality Composer makes it so easy to create engaging, robust experiences with very little to no code already, but a few additions would just ice the cake.

Now You


That’s our list, what do you want to see from WWDC21?

Video Lessons for Coding with Swift


In case you’re missing our live sessions every week day terribly, keep in mind you can still visit any one of the videos we did over the last few months at Coding at Home.

This page has links off to the various YouTube playlists, where we’ve collected our library of content for:

  • Everyone Can Code Puzzles — relive the excitement of the Everyone Can Code Puzzles book from Apple and refresh your memory on all sorts of coding techniques and tricks
  • Lights, Camera, Code — a jaunt through using your iPad’s camera
  • Build your own Aquarium App — building on the Lights, Camera, Code stuff, we strike out on our own to build our own app using some of the same techniques we learned with our camera exercises
  • Augmented Reality — one of our huge hits, try your hand at augmenting your own reality with lunar landers, pinball games, you name it! Not a lot of coding knowledge required, but you’ll have a ton of fun!
  • And so many more…

You’ll re-live all the excitement of our live sessions with all the bloopers and feed issues as we (I hope) got better and better over time.

So while we’re building the next iteration of lessons/sessions, catch up on the old!

Coding at Home: June 22nd, Augmented Reality AND WWDC2020!

Join us today, WWDC2020 Day (like Christmas Day, but for developers), for some more live coding at 1pm, Irish time!


Today’s the big day, the kick off of WWDC 2020. We’ll get the big keynote, of course, at 6pm, Irish time, followed by the Platforms State of the Union at 10pm.

They’re always inspiring events to watch, especially if you’re a budding programmer looking for a good, meaty set of problems to solve. Maybe some that you never even realized you could tackle. Like with our Reality Composer work, when we added elements to a book’s cover. Or when we built our own app out of a Swift Playground.

I’ve posted my own wish list for WWDC, but I’m sure there will be plenty of surprises to play with when it’s all said and done.

Today’s session

While we try to keep from bursting, we’ll keep coding in our Augmented Reality Swift Playground today!

We’ll use those actions and start to play with proximity: when the user and their iPad gets close to our models we’ve added to the scene, we’ll be able to run code to react.

We’ll see you today at 1pm for some more coding!

Coding at Home: June 19th, Augmented Reality Swift Playgrounds

Join us today at 1pm for some more coding and augmented reality!

Today’s session

We’re going to continue working on our augmented reality playground today.

We tinkered with some old Swift syntax yesterday; we added an array, we looped through it. For some of it we had to venture off the beaten track, but we’ll review it today.

Today we’ll play some more with these built in actions. These actions are a fairly advanced Swift concept, and you’ve done well on our exercises so far.

In other news

We also posted a lesson for those of you interested in taking your coding that step further: https://ed.ted.com/on/7J6g9Gbi

The video introduces you to Xcode, the tool you use, on your Mac, to build iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, Mac, and Apple Watch apps.

We build a simple app together to show you some of the features of Xcode with a practical goal in mind.

If you have access to a Mac, I highly recommend checking out the video and trying your hand. If you’ve been with us this far, you’re well able for app development!

We’ll see you at 1pm!

Coding at Home: June 18th, Augmented Reality Swift Playgrounds

Join us today to work through some more Swift programming and augmented reality at 1pm, Irish time!

Welcome back, Swift Playgrounds!

So it’s been a while, but we’re back in Swift Playgrounds!

Using the Augmented Reality playground from the Challenges section of “More Playgrounds”, we eased back in to calling functions and creating variables yesterday.

Much of the code we wrote on the second page was similar to the code we were writing in our Lights, Camera, Code series. We have a scene and we need to add our Models to the scene.

These beautiful, pre-built models have some great functionality already baked in, like the ability to animate by just calling their animate() method.

Today’s session

In today’s session we’re going to remind ourselves of a few techniques in Swift to display more models in our scene and shake off some of that rust. The combination of the work we’ve done with Swift and the augmented reality work we did in Reality Composer for these last few sessions are going to go together really nicely!

In other news

If you want to see some of the work other students have done, we have a special preview of one reality file… This student made a domino game for you to play in the comfort of your own home.

I recommend a large, open space, because you’ll be moving around a lot!

Try it out (if you’re on an iPhone or iPad… otherwise, clicking this link will download the reality file for you to play around with):

See you at 1pm!

Coding at Home: Augmented Reality in Swift Playgrounds!

Join us today at 1pm for a bunch more work with Swift Playgrounds and augmented reality!

Today’s Session

We’re back to Swift today!

We’ve done a lot with Reality Composer that last few sessions, now we’re going to dive back into the playgrounds and try our hand at writing some code to build and augmented reality scene!

This is an intermediate playground, so we’ll take our time and ease back into coding after a few days away!

I can’t wait to see what we create!

See you at 1pm, Irish time.

Coding at Home: June 16th, Improving Image Anchors for Reality Composer

Happy Bloomsday!

Join us today at 1pm for some more fun with Reality Composer.


Yesterday we went over adding an image anchor for a Reality Composer scene. We picked a new book, showed you how to take a picture and trim it to be a good target image.

We also built a series of scenes so we wouldn’t see our assets while we fished around, looking for our image anchor in the real world.

Once we found it we showed a tab we could tap on to get more info about the main character.

This way we can export our experience and share it with friends.

From that character page we then added an arrow to navigate back to the previous scene.

Today’s session

Today we’ll look at what makes a good image anchor and what doesn’t. We’ll give you some tips and tricks for making sure your image gets recognized. And we’ll also look at what’s happening, with our image anchor.

So catch up with us and we’ll play around with some more augmented reality!

Coding at Home: June 15th, Reality Composer and Image Anchors Again

Join us today at 1pm for more with Reality Composer and image anchors!

Last week

We had so much crammed into Friday’s session that it might have been a little overwhelming.

So we’re going to cover some of that same stuff again today.

Today’s session

On Friday we used a book cover as our anchor. That meant taking a photo of the front of our book and importing it into Reality Composer to use as our image anchor. We had to set the size we expected our image to be in real life so RealityKit had an easier time recognizing it.

We also built a small table of contents viewer that navigated to different scenes.

That’s a lot of moving pieces!

Like the book we picked say, “Don’t Panic.”

We’ll go over all of it again today, nice and slow, to make sure we get it.

See you at 1pm!

Coding at Home: June 12th, Reality Composer and Augmenting a Book Cover

Join us today at 1pm for our augmented reality session!

You’ll need a book handy, or something else you can get a good picture of and use as your image anchor.


For yesterday’s session we built some images in Keynote specifically for purposes of printing out to use as augmented reality anchors.

We were able to create a mini-school tour of different departments for each logo for the different discipline.

Today’s Session

That may have been a bit unfair, especially to those of you following along at home, live. We built the images in Keynote with you, but we already had them printed out and ready to go!

So today, I want you to make sure you have a book lying around.

We’re going to build an AR experience off the cover of your favorite book. (Or whatever book is handy.)

So come join us at 1pm, Irish time!

Coding at Home: June 11th, Reality Composer, Add an Image Anchor

Join us today on YouTube Live for our stream at 1pm, Irish time!

(For a note on our new streaming location, you can read the somewhat excruciatingly boring story of our streaming woes here.)


Our session yesterday was a little bit plagued by technical issues, it turns out, if you were watching on Twitch.

But what we went through, besides saying, “We can’t see anything!” a lot, was the very beginning of creating an AR scene that will use an image as its anchor.

Today’s session

Because yesterday was such a shambles we’re going to repeat most of what we did today.

image anchors

We’ll demonstrate creating some good images for anchors to use in our AR scenes. I used Keynote yesterday, and I’ll show you a good way to get shapes. Print out the shapes, take a screenshot of your slide, and that’s what we’ll transpose a virtual object onto in our AR experience.

So join us today and we’ll get creating some amazing augmented reality scenes!