You can't write Swift Code on iPads

June 9, 2016 | Stefan Mischook

UPDATE June 13th 2016: 

Now that Apple just announced Swift Playgrounds for iPad to teach kids to code ... iPads can be used to teach kids to code with Swift. As far as I know, you still can't run full Xcode on iPads, but nonetheless, now iPads for teaching code is a far more usuable device. 

Back to the original post:


I was recently speaking with some teachers who were interested in teaching app development with Swift. There was one problem though, all they had were iPads!


The bad news is that you cannot create Swift apps with iPads, you'll need Mac computers. You see, to actually write Swift code, you will need to install Apples app for writing Swift code: Xcode.

Xcode only runs on Macs

Xcode is the app iOS coders use to write Swift code and Objective C code. You cannot write apps for iOS without it. The good thing is that Xcode is free. The bad thing is that Xcode is big, is will take up 3.8 gigs of your hard drive space! The other bad news is that your students will have to have Mac computers. Ipads will not cut it.

Alternative to teaching Swift

Teachers love the idea of teaching code with Swift, since it looks like fun and is visual. Both are true. But you have the aforementioned problems. But don't worry, HTML5 is fun, visual, and it doesn't have any of the problems that Swift has. I wrote all about it here.


Stefan Mischook

About me: I've been teaching code since 2003, and writing code since 1994. Check out my book on amazon and check out my new code courses that are getting rave reviews on


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