A major aspect of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference remains celebrated and cultivating young coders and app developers building tools that live at varying intersections of tech, culture and industry. Among the excitement of device announcements and new operating system advancements, the company welcomed a collection of individuals to the Apple campus and honored them as winners of the Swift Student Challenge, with Apple CEO Tim Cook spending time with them.
Jones Mayes II received honors for his app, IVY, which helps gardeners detect invasive vines, such as kudzu, using machine learning. Inspired by the days spent in his grandpa’s garden Mayes developed IVY to both help users identify and learn about invasive species. The app separates native vines by state and is highly accurate. Mayes plans an update to “gamify” IVY a bit more that will go live later this summer.
Audrey Wang’s app, Theia, provides games that simulate synesthesia, the wide-ranging phenomena where the stimulation of one sensory pathway sparks responses from another sensory pathway. Wang’s hope is that the app will give users insight into neurodivergent experiences and as an aid for Alzheimer’s patients like her grandmother.
Josh Tint was honored for his app Discover Me, which lets users try on different gender markers through a language interface. The app was generated from Tint’s own gender exploration during the Covid-19 pandemic and provides a safe, accessible way for anyone exploring themselves to gain a greater understanding of their gender identity through different name and pronoun options.
Angelina Tsuboi was chosen for her app CPR Buddy. The app teaches users correct procedures and techniques for administering CPR and will be coming to the Apple Watch sometime in the future. In addition to that, she also has three additional projects in the works, including one that ties into her love of flying aircraft, Pilot Fast track.
Lexline Johnson brought her fascination with quantum entanglement to her app, building a resource on the topic that helps users learn and better understand it. Her Quantum Entanglement app explains the phenomenon through interactivity and modules that break the complicated field down into easily digestible bites.
Aditya Mangalampalli’s app, PassGen, looks to address the peril of easily compromised passwords. The app expectedly generates passwords, but it also includes a tool that calculates the estimated time to brute force guess any selected password and detail its entropy. Mangalampalli said the app came about in response to a friend’s banking app being compromised. Apple’s announcement of PassKeys, a new password system that utilizes Touch and Face ID, excited Mangalampalli as the next step in online personal protection.