Best Code Editors for iPad

It’s been two months since I got my iPad Pro and while I am waiting for my Magic Keyboard to arrive, I have prepared my iPad Pro to be my magical device I use for my everyday work as a software developer as well as an entrepreneur and manager!

If you haven’t read my previous post about how I chose iPad Pro over Surface Go, please spare 5mins to read it.

I usually use different programming languages for different projects and my plan was to prepare my iPad to fulfill almost all of my development needs on-the-go.

Of course it isn’t possible (yet) to use iPad to develop iOS/macOS apps which is my primary stack, but still I use Apple Playground app as my handy tool to try out my ideas until I get back to my Mac!

Before talking about code editors, let’s first see how to access git repositories and commit your changes on iPad.

Git

There are not many apps out there providing this feature. After digging the App Store for some time, I found only one application that worth mentioning here, which is:

Working Copy

Free/€21.99

I like it’s features as well as the look and feel. Working Copy is a full-featured git client. From clone, pull, commit, push and create branches to support different remotes, rebase, merge, conflict resolving, SSH keys support is available in this app.

Create branch

It has a simple code-editor right inside it, but it’s not that useful for serious programming! But it supports Apple Files API, so you can easily access your repository files from outside of Working Copy and edit them in other applications. (which we will get into)

You can do almost anything with it’s free version but the most important feature for a real user which is push is locked along with some other pro fearures and you have to purchase it for 21.99 to permanently unlock the app.

Although it’s a little pricey but if you need a robust git client for your iPad, Working Copy is definitly the best choice. But some of the code editors you’ll find also offer accessing to git. So stay tuned while we’ll go through code editors for iPad.

Get Working Copy for free from the App Store

Code Editors

Unlike git which I couldn’t find many options, there are bunch of code editors out there with different features and prices. Although none of them were so good in code-completion which is a huge con, they can be handy if you need to write come code on the go. I compared them carefully and here’s the results:

1. Textastic

€9.99

I had the previous version of Textastic on my iPhone, and I purchase it’s new version for my iPad. Textastic is very slick and I like it’s layout. It supports iPadOS multi windows feature beautifully.

Get Textastic from the App Store

2. Koder

Free

If you are looking for a decent code editor for your iPad without paying a dime, Koder is perfect. The code editor is fine although does not have other color schemes.

Koder in Dark Mode

It supports different ways to reach your codes. You can edit local files and you can also access Dropbox, SSH, FTP or SFTP to reach to your codes. It has even a basic web app built-in to access and upload local files from a browser within the network.

Koder internal web app to access files and folders from a browser

The major lack of feature that I observed in Koder comparing to Textastic is that although you can select and edit a single file from Files app, it does not support importing the whole folder. It makes it impossible to use Koder with a git app such as Working Copy to access your files and folders on git and edit them while having the folder structure in Koder. I ranked this app as 2nd. in my list because it is fantastic compared to other free code editors!

Get Koder for free from the App Store

3. Buffer

€9.99

Buffer is absolutely one of the best code-editors for iPad. It has git support built-in and it has plenty of color schemes ready to use.

Buffer

I was comparing it in details with Textastic to decide which one should be stand in the first place! But Textastic earned the first place! Buffers UI is not user friendly (it seems it’s not a finished app!). also Buffer does not support iPadOS multi windows yet.

Get Buffer from the App Store

There are other code editor apps which also can run your codes, but I didn’t find them interesting to mention here because they are not simply good code-editors. I will write another article about how to run your web applications right on your iPad. Some of those apps will be mentioned there.

Do you use other code editors or know some better choices? Share it here!

SWE @Facebook, Founder of @YekaStudio and @BeamitDelivery.

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