Make App Pie

Training for Developers and Artists

Run Real Apps with Swift Playgrounds for Mac 4.1

A quick review of the changes in Swift Playgrounds 4.1 on the Mac. Learn how you can make and publish an app without Xcode either directly to your Applications folder or to the app store.


Apple’s release of Swift Playgrounds 4.1 for macOS might not look like a big change but it is huge. Here’s several thing you can do Straight from playgrounds on a Mac. 

 You can start an app by clicking the button in the lower left. 

You can see your existing  SwiftUI Code on a Mac from files created on iPad. I’ll open the Play4_1 HuliPizza app file and it loads easily, with the Preview working perfectly. 

In 4.1 with macOS 12.4, you can run this directly on the Mac. Drop down menus are functional. 

Stop the app and go to the app setting.  

Capabilities set you up for a variety of device frameworks including files, cameras and internet access, with some specifically for macOS. 

Next you’ll find Team and bundle identifiers if you are a registered App developer.  If you plan to send your app to the app store, set these few settings, and you are ready. You can set you team and bundle here.  Categories and version numbers are set here too. 

Unlike Xcode, If you got all that done, Click the button on the bottom to send your app to app store connect fo posting in the app store. 

Exclusive to macOS version of playgrounds, clicking the button above it installs the playground as an app to your applications folder.  Click on applications and you’ll find it there.

  If you are building in-house Mac apps, there’s nothing easer to get you apps running without Xcode, a developer license or the app store. 

The new format for SwiftUI playground apps is also portable to Xcode.  Just open the file in Xcode and you are ready to go. 

If you are working in swift UI, Or start your app with swiftUI you can a simple lightweight IDE on almost any mac without the heavy overhead of Xcode. Playgounds doesn’t replace Xcove, but if you need to get work done on interfaces , wireframes or prototypes, this is one option you should really consider.  See al this in action in the video above.

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