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HomeiOS DevelopmentConstructing a Textual content-to-speech App on iPad

Constructing a Textual content-to-speech App on iPad

In WWDC 21, one of many bulletins that caught my consideration was the huge adjustments of Swift Playgrounds. Not solely are you able to study Swift utilizing Playgrounds, the brand new replace permits builders to create apps totally on iPad and submit them to App Retailer instantly.

Swift Playgrounds is a good way to study to code proper on a Mac or iPad. With Swift Playgrounds 4, coming later this yr, customers will be capable of create the visible design of an app with SwiftUI. App initiatives might be opened and edited in Swift Playgrounds or in Xcode, and once they’re prepared, customers can construct an actual app and submit it on to the App Retailer proper from their iPad.

I’ve been ready for its launch for a number of months. A pair weeks in the past, Apple lastly launched Swift Playgrounds 4 permitting us to construct each iPhone and iPad apps proper on iPad.

When you already personal a Mac, it’s possible you’ll surprise why it’s an enormous step for Apple to deliver iOS app growth to iPad. Apart from publishing on-line programs and ebooks, I additionally manage varied in-person workshops for absolute freshmen to expertise iOS app growth. Some of the widespread questions is: Can I write code and develop apps on iPad as a result of I don’t have a Mac? Up to now, the reply is clearly no. Now, with the model 4 launch of Swift Playgrounds, freshmen can begin studying Swift & SwiftUI with no Mac.

Let’s check out Swift Playgrounds 4 and see how we are able to develop a easy text-to-speech app on iPad.

Making a New Venture Utilizing Swift Playgrounds

Assuming you’ve downloaded and put in Swift Playgrounds 4 in your iPad, it is best to see the next display screen if you first launch the app.


It now comes with a brand new mission template referred to as App. To develop an app on iPad, select the App template on the decrease left nook. Swift Playgrounds then create a brand new mission for you. You’ll be able to faucet and maintain the mission icon to rename the mission. For me, I rename it to HelloWorld.

Tapping the mission icon will deliver you to code editor. Proper subsequent to the code editor, it’s the preview pane, which renders an instantaneous preview on your code. By default, it already generates a code snippet that shows an icon and a Good day, world message.


Let’s Write Some Code

You might be skeptical about the right way to kind code utilizing the software program keyboard of iPad. In reality, the highly effective Xcode-like code completion makes the entire coding expertise so pleasing, even for those who use the software program keyboard.

Let’s attempt to write some code and you’ll perceive what I imply. We are going to modify the code of ContentView to create a button. First, we have to take away the generated code in physique. To take away the VStack and its embedded views. You’ll be able to merely faucet the opening curly bracket and Playgrounds robotically selects the block of code. Select Delete or hit the delete button to take away the code block.


Subsequent, attempt to add a button to the app UI. Once you begin typing Button(ac, Playgrounds instantly reveals you some code options. You’ll be able to hit return to decide on the default choice.


After that, you possibly can hit the return key once more. Playgrounds will generate the code skeleton of the Button view for you. It’s precisely the identical because the auto completion characteristic of Xcode.


You’ll be able to proceed to put in writing the code like this:

The auto completion characteristic may be very responsive. When you kind the dot (.) key, the app immediately shows all of the obtainable modifiers of the view for you. Simply faucet the one you want. This could prevent fairly numerous key strokes.


After the change, Playgrounds ought to render a purple button within the preview pane.


Including a Stack View and Textual content Subject

Subsequent, we’ll add a textual content discipline proper above the Communicate button. Earlier than including the textual content discipline, we’ll first embed the button in a VStack view. In contrast to Xcode, it doesn’t include a context menu for embedding a view in a stack view.


On iPad’s Playgrounds, you possibly can kind VStack to create a vertical stack view. To wrap the Button view within the VStack, you faucet and maintain the shut curly bracket (}) of the stack view. Then drag it till the VStack view embeds the entire Button view.


So as to add the textual content discipline, declare a state variable for holding the consumer enter in ContentView like this:

Then insert the next code earlier than the Button view:

When you made the adjustments, it is best to see the textual content discipline with a placeholder.


Implementing the Textual content to Speech Characteristic

The iOS SDK has built-in APIs for builders to include the text-to-speech options in iOS apps. All you want is to import the AVFoundation framework:

Within the closure of Button, insert the next code:

To synthesize speech, we create an AVSpeechUtterance occasion with the textual content enter. We then specify the voice kind and create an AVSpeechSynthesizer occasion to talk the textual content.


Now it’s prepared to check the app. Within the preview pane, kind some textual content within the textual content discipline and faucet Communicate. The app ought to rework the textual content into speech. Please ensure you disable the silent mode throughout your testing.

Including Pictures

The app already works completely. Nonetheless, to make the app look higher, let’s add a picture above the textual content discipline. On the highest left nook, faucet the navigator icon to open the mission navigator. Then faucet the Add new file icon to deliver up the choice menu.


If you wish to add images from Picture library, select Picture. Alternatively, you possibly can select Insert from… to pick out a picture from iCloud drive. When you added the picture, you will notice the Belongings part within the mission navigator.


When you’re including the picture from Picture library, the default picture identify is about to Picture Asset. You’ll be able to faucet and maintain the file to deliver up the Rename choice. Rename the file to hellocat.

Now change over to ContentView. Insert the next code earlier than TextField:

Optionally, you possibly can add a heading earlier than the Picture view like this:

Your ultimate deliverable ought to appear to be this:


Working Your App Venture

In contrast to Xcode, the app preview on Swift Playgrounds is all the time interactive. You’ll be able to already take a look at the app within the preview pane. That mentioned, if you wish to run the app and see the way it seems to be on iPad, you possibly can faucet the Play button.

Swift Playgrounds will launch the app and run it in full display screen mode. To cease the app and change it again to the code editor, you possibly can faucet the Swift icon within the standing bar. Then you possibly can faucet the Cease button to terminate the app.



Swift Playgrounds 4 delivers an enormous enchancment for aspiring builders who’re serious about studying iOS growth however with no Mac. As you possibly can see on this tutorial, we are able to construct an iOS app totally utilizing an iPad. The built-in code editor and the auto full characteristic present a pleasant coding expertise.

For many who personal a Mac, there may be in all probability no purpose why you’ll develop apps utilizing Swift Playgrounds. Nonetheless, for freshmen who solely bought an iPad and never able to spend money on a brand new Mac, this new replace of Swift Playgrounds opens up a variety of alternatives for them.

If you realize any iPad customers who wish to study to code, be at liberty to share this tutorial to them. I’m excited to put in writing extra tutorials and present them the right way to construct apps totally on iPad.

To study extra about SwiftUI, you possibly can additional try our Mastering SwiftUI guide.



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