Code and words

Coding on an iPad

December 2, 2019 , posted under Coding
Is it possible to write code using just an iPad? Let’s see...

It’s lazy I know, but sometimes I can’t be arsed to work on my laptop. If I want to update my own websites, I want it to be easy. But can you code an an iPad?

Damn. This is going to be a short post.

The answer is a resounding no.

Apple don’t give you access to the core of iOS to install compilers and interpreters etc.

So that’s that.

Or is it?

Well, no. I’m writing this post on my iPad. That’s not a big deal - I use Markdown.

However, these posts get on my website via Git. So how does deployment work?

I’m using a brilliant app called Working Copy.

It gives you access to your Git repos on all the popular online repo providers like Github, Gitlab etc.

You clone the repo into the app and then you can work on it almost like you would on your laptop.

I say almost because there are some limitations.

The iOS keyboard being one. Which brings me to app integrations.

Using other apps

There is an app called Textastic which supports most programming languages (and Markdown).

You integrate it with Working Copy. Then, you can grab a file from your repo via Working Copy.

Do some work on it, then sling it back to Working Copy. From there, you can push the changes to your repo.

Since I use the amazing Netlify to host my website, my changes are then automatically deployed.

Job done.

Hmm, I hear you say. Is that really coding on your iPad?

Well, it’s as close as you are going to get. And it does work well.

Other options

Blimey, leave the iPad for fun stuff, right?

I know, I know. But it’s fun trying this stuff out isn’t it?

So, what else can you do?

You can’t run stuff properly. Let’s be clear. As I’ve said, you can’t install compilers and stuff.

But there are a couple of other apps that work nicely:

Which is cool because it means I can fiddle about with Python and Go on my iPad.

One more thing…

Let’s wrap things up.

Can you code on an iPad? No, not properly.

Can you work on code in your repos? Yes, by using the Working Copy app.

Can you noodle around with other code? There are apps like Pythonista out there that do a good job of letting you scratch that itch.

Now, should you code on an iPad?

Well, I’ll let you decide on that one.