BBC Micro Bit
The BBC micro:bit aims to teach kids the basics of codingBBC

Samsung has launched an Android app for BBC's micro:bit mini computer that allows young people to code on the go from smartphones and tablets.

The BBC micro:bit is a small, programmable hardware device that aims to teach children and young people how to code. Using the app, kids can create new functions for their mobile devices that can be controlled by the pocket-sized computer, such as creating a button that launches their smartphone's camera or using the sensors on their device to "build their very own security alarm".

Samsung hopes the app provide a stepping-stone that will introduce them to connected technology and the wider Internet of Things. The company is working with the BBC as part of the broadcast house's Make it Digital initiative, a UK-wide campaign to improve digital literacy in the country and "inspire a new generation of digital pioneers."

According to Samsung, 1.4 million digital professionals will be needed in the next five years as the number of connected and "smart" devices continues to grow, making coding a crucial skill within the jobs market. The BBC plans to distribute one million free micro:bit computers to year 7 pupils as part of the campaign, with Samsung acting as a "key partner" in the drop.

The BBC micro:bit app is now available in the Google Play Store as a free download, with Samsung planning a live demonstration of its capabilities during MWC 2016.

Aleyne Johnson, head of government relations and citizenship at Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland, said: "We're very proud to bring the micro:bit to life in partnership with the BBC and officially launch the app at this year's MWC. The combination of the micro:bit with the app will be a powerful learning tool for young people, inspiring them not only to use technology but to develop fun applications for themselves and their friends.

"As digital skills such as coding are increasingly important for all industries, we hope that the micro:bit will give year 7s a head start by putting them in the driving seat as developers."