Subdivision Infinity, Microsoft Planner, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend everyone!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s updated Swift Playgrounds app, giving would-be coders the chance to learn to program by controlling a robot, is just one of the great titles we’ve picked out for this week’s “Awesome Apps” roundup.

We’ve also got a fun space blaster, a big Wonder Woman-themed upgrade to a fun RPG battler, and a useful multi-person planning app. Check out our picks below.

How a 19-year-old won a free scholarship to WWDC

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Tim Cook WWDC scholars 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook meets some of the scholars at WWDC 2014.
Photo: Tim Cook/Twitter

All next week, student Kenny Batista will be writing a diary from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. Kenny won a coveted scholarship, which includes food, lodging, keynote access and meeting Apple CEO Tim Cook. In his first entry, Kenny describes how he won the scholarship.

A few weeks ago, Apple selected me for a WWDC scholarship. I’ll be heading down to the conference this Saturday and staying there the whole week.

I’ll be writing a first-person perspective of the event from the dorms, the scholarship orientation (after which we meet Tim Cook, supposedly), the keynote, the sessions and more.

I got the scholarship by creating a demo in Apple’s Xcode version of Swift Playgrounds and writing a short essay about it. It took me six days — about 30 hours of work after school — but it was worth it!

Here’s how I did it.

Tynker’s new courses use games to teach kids Swift

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Tynker's new apps make coding fun.
Tynker's new apps make coding fun.
Photo: Tynker

Kids wanting to learn how to build apps can game their way to coding skills with a new set of courses designed to making programming fun.

Tynker, one of the world’s most popular coding educators, is supporting Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative with two new games — Space Cadet and Dragon Spells — that teach kids the fundamentals of coding before graduating to Swift.

Apple’s WWDC scholarships now include a free place to stay

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A lot is changing at WWDC.
A lot is changing at WWDC.
Photo: Apple

The rules for winning a coveted scholarship to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference are changing this year.

Apple revealed today that it will begin accepting applications for WWDC 2017 scholarships on March 27. Getting one of the spots means you don’t have to pay the $1,599 ticket price. And for the first time ever, Apple is going to hook up student winners with a free place to stay.

Best iOS apps of 2016

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Best iOS Apps
Appy holidays!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac It’s been a banner year for iOS apps. From smart photo-editing tools to music-generating apps, Apple and third-party developers alike brought some serious heat to the App Store. We’ve combed through our home screens to pick out the best iOS apps of 2016.

Check out our picks below.

Apple’s new Swift Playgrounds app turns kids into coders

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Coding is fun with Swift Playgrounds.
Coding is fun with Swift Playgrounds.
Photo: Apple

Apple introduced a powerful new way to teach kids how to learn to code today with a new app called Swift Playgrounds that makes learning Swift as easy as ABC.

The iPad app helps students learn to code by presenting a number of simple lessons aimed at kids, though simpleton non-coder adults can learn a great deal from it as well.