Explore your tools
Tools like Swift Playgrounds and Xcode enable anyone with an idea to create something incredible. If you’re new to app development, try Swift Playgrounds, which includes everything you need to go from your first line of code to building your first app.
If you’re already familiar with app development, try Xcode, Apple’s powerful, integrated development environment, used by professionals around the world to develop, test, and distribute their apps.
You can use Swift Playgrounds or Xcode to code an app playground — a streamlined space designed for you to experiment as you build. For your submission to the Swift Student Challenge, you’ll submit a playground with an interactive scene that can be experienced within three minutes.
Xcode includes the SDKs for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.
Learn how to use Swift Playgrounds
Design your app
Great apps begin with great ideas. Think about what your app will do and what problem it can solve.
You can use the App Design Workbook to review the core principles of the app design process: define, prototype, test, validate, and iterate. For a detailed look at building a prototype, watch 60-Second Prototyping. You can even practice designing an app using the Design a Simple App project. When you’re ready, design the app you’ll submit to the Challenge.
Learn how to build your app
Download the latest version of Swift Playgrounds. Develop your SwiftUI skills by exploring Get Started with Apps and Keep Going with Apps. These engaging tutorials demonstrate the core concepts of coding and building apps.
Get Started with Apps
Take your learning further with Swift Playgrounds tutorials, like Animating Shapes, Organizing with Grids, and Editing Grids.
Organizing with Grids
For details on prototyping, building, and debugging, watch Build your first app in Swift Playgrounds.
Learn more best practices for coding with Swift Playgrounds or Xcode.
Build and iterate
Now it’s time to put your new Swift and SwiftUI skills into practice by building your app. Swift Playgrounds is a great place to start. To create a new app playground, open the software and tap the App button (+).
If you’re already familiar with coding in Xcode or want to try it out, you can use it to build your playground if you prefer. Select File > New > Project > iOS > App Playground.
The playground you submit to the Swift Student Challenge needs to be built with and run on Swift Playgrounds or Xcode.
Make your app unique by adding your own graphics, audio, and more. For inspiration, read how the 2023 Apple Design Award winners brought their ideas to life.
Check your work
Test, test, test! Before sending in your submission, share your playground with friends, family, and classmates to get maximum input on functionality, messaging, and user experience. Sharing your work also helps you verify that everything functions properly on someone else’s device.
Post your questions on the forums
The Apple Developer Forums are a great place to ask questions and connect with other Challenge applicants. Add the Swift Student Challenge tag to your post.