Xcode 6 Beta with Swift now available for free, here’s why this is important

Apple has released the latest beta of its Xcode development environment to the general public, bringing with it Swift, the company’s latest innovation in programming.

The beta version of Xcode 6 is the first to be released to users without a paid Apple Developer Account. It includes some significant changes to the development experience, including (for the first time) a REPL (Read Eval Print Loop) and other visual enhancements that make development easier.

The most significant improvement to Xcode is Playgrounds. Here you can easily experiment with new ideas using the Swift programming language that Apple demonstrated at the previous World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Curious about what’s new in Xcode 6? Read on for more information.

Introduction to Swift & why you should care

The only way to create native iOS apps was through Objective-C and C ++. Each of these inherits features and styles from an earlier programming language called C.

The problem is that C and its derivatives are not the friendliest languages for beginners. How to choose a programming language to learn today and get a great job in 2 years? How to Choose a Programming Language to Learn Today and Get a Great Job in 2 Years It can take years of dedicated work to become a really good programmer; Is there any way to choose the right language from today to get hired tomorrow? Read more Apple is eager to attract new developers from Android and Windows Phone to its platform. The language is Swift, a language where you can see the impact of Apple’s new programming language on me. How does Apple’s new programming language affect me? Developers knew from the start that Apple’s new Swift was going to be big. But why should you care? Read on to build fast, native iOS apps without the old baggage of C.

Swift is new – yes, really new. It hasn’t even been released to the public yet. As a result, there really isn’t that much support and learning material out there for Java, Python, C # or Ruby to grapple with.

Fortunately, Apple has published a book that will teach you the intricacies of the Swift programming language. It’s called The Swift Programming Language and it’s now available to download for free from iBooks.

Get Xcode 6 Beta 4

Until recently, you could only get Xcode 6 beta versions with an expensive Apple developer account that costs $99 USD annually. This also grants you access to OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, although my colleague Tim Brookes doesn’t think you should install them. Why shouldn’t you install the iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 betas? Why should you install iOS 8 and not? OS X 10.10 Betas You should only install iOS 8 or OS X 10.10 if you have a valid reason to do so. Here’s why. Read more.

Fortunately, all you need this time is Xcode. The new language is a free developer account that you can get simply by signing up.

You’ll need a Mac because Xcode is Mac software – there’s no Windows version. Xcode 6 is large and weighs about 2 GB. If you have a slow internet connection, you may be waiting a while. Once installed, it will happily sit alongside existing Xcode copies rather than replace them.

Fancy giving it a try? Download the Xcode 6 beta here.

What’s new in Xcode 6?

A lot.

First, let’s talk about a feature of a number of popular programming languages: REPLs. These stand for Read Eval Print Loop and allow you to execute code interactively. You take an expression from a user, evaluate it, execute the code, and then print the results of the operation.

These have not traditionally been found in compiled languages, although there are some notable exceptions, such as CSharpRepl in the mono implementation of C #..

Fast is different. For the first time, users using the beta version of Xcode to write Swift can see their code running as they write it, so they can easily debug, plan, and experiment with code.

There is also an interactive Swift command line where you can run Swift in a line-by-line, script-like environment.

Other features included in Xcode 6 Beta 4 include significantly improved user interface debugging. Storyboards for OS X lets you create containers and animations for your Mac apps without writing a single line of code. and new tools to easily create games.

The new development tools specific to games, combined with the new Metal API for ultra-fast graphics performance and the Swift language’s rapid application development capabilities, mean we can expect faster, better, and more numerous games iOS platform in the coming years.

Be excited.

Even if you’re not a developer, there’s a lot to discover with Swift and Xcode 6.

Are you looking forward to Apple’s new development tools? Share your thoughts below.

Learn more about: Programming, Swift.

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