Use WebUSB to allow Microsoft MakeCode to download direct to Circuit Playground Express

If you’ve been using Microsoft MakeCode for your Circuit Playground Express projects, you know how easy and powerful it is to program. But it is a two-step process to save a UF2 code file to hard disk then copy that file to the Circuit Playground Express boot USB drive CPLAYBOOT. If you make small changes, those save & copy cycles add up.

Why not have download automatically load the code to the Circuit Playground Express?

Now you can! But it requires a technology called WebUSB.

You’ll need to do a few things before you can use WebUSB

  • You will need to use the latest version of the Google Chrome web browser. Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge, etc do not support WebUSB at this time. Only Chrome, only versions 68 or greater!
  • Run Windows 10, Latest Mac OS X or Linux.   Windows 7 or 8 are not supported!

If you have the latest Google Chrome version, you can follow this new page in the Adafruit MakeCode for Circuit Playground Express guide to enable one-click downloads.

It’s a one time procedure, then you can enjoy clicking the pink Download button and have your code go direct to your board and automagically run.

Note: This is Beta Software from Microsoft and you will have to access the editor using the URL https://makecode.adafruit.com/beta?webusb=1#editor – if it somehow breaks, it could be Chrome or Microsoft fiddling around (and not Adafruit), you have been warned.

Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.

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