Month: March 2017

iPad As A Supplementary Display

I have found one of the best uses of the iPad in a workflow – using it as another display which can display lecture slides, codes and other useful information while you get work done on a laptop.


I find it particularly useful for iOS programming where I can have Xcode open on the Mac, with the lecture notes open on the iPad. Sure I can open the notes on the Mac, but having it on the side makes the workflow less cumbersome. Just a few glances and its done.

Still trying to work out how to use Core Data though 🙂


App: Swift Playgrounds

Since the iPad is not really a “computer replacement”, the way you get common tasks done is different from what you may be used to. Its not possible to create an iOS app from scratch on iPad – you need to have a Mac for that. And other types of coding might be difficult or hard to complete on a device without a physical keyboard.

The Swift Playgrounds app brings learning of the Swift programming language, to the iPad in a fun way. The aim of the app is to teach the new generation to code, while current coders can use it to brush up on their Swift skills. It has been developed by Apple, who have even modified the existing iOS QuickType keyboard to provide learners with shortcuts to common coding characters (such as { and }). The QuickType keyboard also gains predictions for methods that the user might want to type.

The teaching is done through a series of challenges to strengthen the users’s coding skills. You solve interactive puzzles in the guided “Learn to Code” lessons to master the basics of coding, while additional challenges let you explore code and create programs that are engaging and unique.


As well as the teaching part, there isa screen which allows you to access a blank ‘playground’ – an IDE without any controls, and just outputs results to the console as you type the code. This is useful for experimenting with Swift and good for using the iPad alongside Xcode on a Mac.

Click here to give Swift Playgrounds a download.