Coding at Home: June 23rd, Grad Break & WWDC20

We will not be broadcasting at 1pm today, because someone in the house is having their last day of sixth class (last day of primary school in Ireland!).

But we do hope to broadcast at some point during the day, so keep your eyes on Twitter, because we’ll give a shout out there. Or you can just watch the live feed, all day long, like a hawk, watching for a tasty Swift mouse to eat.*

Wishes do come true

One of the things we’re most excited about is the publishing of all the session videos up on the Developer app, so we can see what’s going to be talked about.

And take a look!

There are a whole new set of Swift Playgrounds AND a session on creating your own content, checking off a few big items on our wish list!

Today at 6pm, Irish time, is when all these sessions drop, and the first of the new content is presented: Swan’s Quest, Chapter 1: Voices in the dark.

Another session we might find relevant tonight is What’s New in RealityKit.

If you missed the Keynote yesterday, you can catch up with this short little video recapping the announcements from yesterday.

So we likely won’t see you today, but we can’t wait to get back to it tomorrow with you! Keep your eyes on those WWDC videos and Twitter and YouTube and we’ll see you on June 24th!

* Disclaimer: Do not eat Swift Playgrounds.

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!

The Code Hub’s WWDC2020 Wishlist

At this stage, you can almost taste WWDC2020 and we’ve been talking with our students about what might come out of the sessions this week.

Since we’ve been immersed in Swift Playgrounds and Reality Composer for the last few months, I, for one, have a few things on my wish list for WWDC.

The Wish List

Here’s a brief list of things we’d love to see at WWDC:

Swift Playgrounds and Development on the iPad

  • New Swift Playgrounds challenges
    • I’m not saying our students are bored, but the existing content is so excellent and so well done, it would be amazing to get some more playgrounds during the week. I am an especially big fan of playgrounds like the Cipher playground that tell a story.
  • While we’re at it, The Code Hub Playgrounds in the official list of “More Playgrounds”
    • We’re not biased at all, but I’d personally love it if our playground feed was added to the app.
  • New Books
    • Again, I’m a huge fan of Everyone Can Code Puzzles, heck, we based an entire series on it. And the App Dev with Swift books are an incredible free resource to have. But I’d love to see the long-awaited Everyone Can Code Adventures ship!
  • More dev on iPad
    • Whether it’s Xcode on iPad or simply Swift syntax highlighting for Advanced > View Auxiliary Source Files in Swift Playgrounds, prepping folks for the full Xcode experience in Swift Playgrounds would be incredible…
  • Easier Playground Book Authoring
    • There is the Swift Playgrounds Author Template (for various versions of Xcode), which is a HUGE help. And it gets better every time they ship a new one for the new version of Xcode. But I would love to see 1) it announced more publicly (or at least to me 🙂 ) so I can go grab the latest one rather than keeping around older versions of Xcode and Swift to do my playground book authoring and 2) more integrated into Xcode itself, maybe as a template for new projects.

Reality Composer and ARKit

  • The ability to drag images as objects into Reality Composer on the iPad
    • Maybe you can do this somehow, but the only way I’ve found to drag images into a Reality Composer scene (as objects, not anchors) is to do it in Reality Composer on the Mac and then edit the Reality Composer project on iOS.
  • While we’re at it, movies as objects for Reality Composer
    • We can always jump back to Xcode to add an AVPlayerLayer and AVPlayerItem to our scene and layer it on top of an image anchor, ala Harry Potter’s Daily Prophet moving photos, but wouldn’t it be amazing if we could add it as an object in Reality Composer and tweak the way it’s laid out in Reality Composer’s interface?
  • More LiDAR!
    • I can’t wait until my students are all on the latest iPads with full-on LiDAR cameras on the back for playing around with our AR sessions.


  • The Triumphant Return of WebObjects
    • Who wouldn’t like to see a new version of WebObjects ship; EOF, D2W and all? Enterprise Objects Framework for the desktop, anyone?

Like Christmas in June

The above is a short list of the things we’ve run into in the last few months. Of course, there are a few of them we can address ourselves.

Regardless of what we wind up getting, I’m excited for improvements to existing frameworks. I’m excited for the new technology the gang add this year.

The Swift Student Challenge was an impressive start to the event. I can’t wait to point my students at more inspiring content for them to consume and start dreaming up what they’ll do with it.

See you at the virtual Jamba Juice stand!

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:

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!