Circuit Playground now works directly with your browser!

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We’re excited to announce that the Maker App and Serial Connector Chrome App are no longer required for connecting Circuit Playground boards for certain browsers and devices! While we will continue to support the Maker App and Serial Connector Chrome app, all Chromebooks v90 and above and versions of Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge released since March 2021 directly support the connection to Circuit Playground boards. If you have an older Chromebook or an older version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, you will still need to use the Chrome Serial WebApp (for Chromebooks) or the Maker App (for Windows or Macs) and/or update your browser.

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We intend to eventually make this the primary method for connecting Maker Toolkit to Circuit Playground boards. However, we have not set a specific time for when we will make that transition. In the interim, we encourage you to use this feature with new lessons or as an alternate way to connect boards if you run into issues with the Maker App or the Connector Chrome app. This feature is already enabled by default for Chromebooks, and there is no expected change in behavior. You or your IT department may remove the Serial Connector Code Chrome App at your convenience.

How do I connect the Circuit Playground to my browser?

All versions of Google Chrome (for PC, Mac, and Chromebooks) and Microsoft Edge released since March 2021 directly support the connection to Circuit Playground boards. When you click “Run” in a level that uses a Circuit Playground board, it will prompt you to select a board to connect to. Pick the board you want to connect to from the list and click “Connect”. This will show a small icon in the title tab to indicate you are connected. You will not need to do this again for any future activity in that browser tab.

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Troubleshooting

If you’re having trouble connecting to a board or you’re not being prompted to select a board when you click the “Run” button, follow these steps to get more in-depth information on the board connection:

  1. Navigate to https://studio.code.org/maker/setup
  2. Click the “Connect to Board” button, select the board you want to connect, and click Connect.

The page will then run a test of connection tests. If any of them fail, it should provide you with guidance on how to remedy the problem. If you’re not sure what to do, please contact support@code.org with a screenshot of the error messages you encountered.

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One issue may be that your browser’s security settings are blocking connections to serial devices like the Circuit Playground. 

For Google Chrome

  1. Click on the vertical dot menu in the upper righthand corner to open Chrome Settings
  2. Select the “Privacy and Security” section on the left, scroll to the bottom and select the “Site Settings” page.
  3. Under the “Additional permissions” section and click on the “Serial ports” option. 
  4. Ensure that the “Sites can ask to connect to serial ports” option is selected. You may need to contact your IT administrator to enable this option.

Once you have successfully connected a board to App Lab, a “Circuit Playground” section will appear on this page, with an entry for “https://studio.code.org”, indicating that Google Chrome has successfully granted access to App Lab to connect to the Circuit Playground.

 

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For Microsoft Edge

  1. Click on the horizontal dot menu in the upper righthand corner to open Edge Settings
  2. Select the “Cookies and site permissions” section on the left, scroll to the bottom and click on the “Serial ports” option. 
  3. Ensure that the “Ask when a site wants to access serial ports” option is selected. You may need to contact your IT administrator to enable this option.

Once you have successfully connected a board to App Lab, a “Circuit Playground” section will appear on this page, with an entry for “https://studio.code.org”, indicating that Google Chrome has successfully granted access to App Lab to connect to the Circuit Playground.

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