Close to buying but..


I stumbled upon Codea on the app store, thought it looked very interesting so I’ve been looking it up on youtube.
I am close to buying (don’t normally pay more than £3 for any apps!!) but I have questions I’d like to know before I pay.

if you don’t mind

1: Can I create stand-alone games on my ipad? (I have no Mac, nor access to one. but can I like save out a finished game from codea and have it as a stand alone icon in my ipad or am I forever limited to running all my creations from within codea??

2: How user friendly is the language? I’m not a programmer but I have dabbled a little in years gone by, mainly in things like BBC Basic, AMOS and Atari 800XL Basic.

3: If I make a game I quite like, is it possible to send the game/code to my wife’s ipod touch so she can play it? That would be very cool indeed!

4: Is there any possibility of me damaging my ipad if I create some code thats so buggy it crashes the system? That is a little worrying. heh, like I said, I’m not a programmer just an interested amateur.

5: last buy not least, are you planning on having a sale in the next month or two? (Not that I’m cheap or begging, but I have been burnt badly very recently after buying several expensive apps that went on sale/free under 24 hours after I bought and that is so incredibly annoying.)

Thank you very much for the answers.


  1. You can create just about any type of game you can think of provided you learn the language, but it will only run with Codea.

  2. Lua isn’t that hard to learn. The more you put into learning the more you’ll get out of it. Learning another programming language is also part of the fun.

  3. Any thing you create could only run on another device provided it has Codea on it.

  4. As far as I know you can’t write anything that will damage your iPad. My iPad crashes and hangs a lot, but closing Codea or powering down the iPad clears it.

  5. I don’t know about this question. But I feel It is well worth the price just in the amount of time I spent coding.

And as always, there will be others who will provide better answers than I can.

  1. Not without mac and xcode. Each app/game you write is on a menu when you start codea, but to have it as a seperate icon on the ipad you need to compile it as a IOS app which Codea supports, but you need a Mac and XCode (developer licence) to do it.

  2. I think it’s pretty friendly, especially to a BASIC background etc. It’s of course difficult to judge as my opinion is colored by my skills.

  3. You can fairly easy copy code between ipads running Codea, but for an iPod touch, you would have to make your app legit for the lower screen size (relatively easy), and have a Mac etc as in point 1.

  4. Worst case it will crash Codea and you re run it. This happens, but is fairly rare. I think there is basically 0 risk of it damaging anything.

  5. In the time I’ve had it which is a year or so, I haven’t heard of sales. If you are interested in dabbling with some coding, it’s brilliant, it’s easy to create small interesting experiments. It also has a depth to it that you can get really complex and sophisticated if you want, even to developing full professional quality IOS apps. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again if for some reason I needed to.

To add to 1 and 3.

You could use test flight to distribute an app to your and your wife’s ipad temporarily ( I think it lasts a couple of months) free of charge as an alternative. It appears as an icon untethered to codea

Hi paul123.
Concerning point5: after some month of usage of codea, you will be so amazed by the responsiveness of the dev team (Two Lives Left), and the amazing new features they bring to you at each release, that you will beg to pay more (no kidding, most of us went through that!) because these guys really deserve it!

I also have a Basic background. I found Codea to be very like Basic, but is better., both simpler and more elegant. I loved it from day one, and haven’t had so much fun in years.

Codea is the best app on the iPad.

Three of the six icons on the permanent row at the bottom of my iPad are Codea related :smiley:

Thanks for the info everyone.

I am very very tempted but will hold off for now.

I’m certainly not saying its not worth the money at all, I’m just thinking if its too hard for me personally, it’ll be a waste. I am an old fart and I do struggle to pick some things up.

But I’ll certainly keep my eye on it and should it go on sale or I suddenly find myself with some extra cash, I’ll grab it.


@paul123 it is worth the challange, heck it part of the fun!

@Paul123, I’m also an old fart (although I prefer the term old flatulent). I’m in my fifties and I’ve never been a programmer. In my opinion, the best part of Codea is this forum. The same people in this discussion (along with a few others) are teaching me programming by providing sample code and answering my silly questions. The experts here are very patient. In fact, some of the programming pros wrote excellent tutorials for beginners. You should check them out: --Reefwing Tutorials --Ignatz Tutorials --Andrew Stacey Tutorials --CodeaNoob Tutorials

They really help, especially in combination with the Codea Wiki ( and some Lua programming sites, like

I agree this forum is one of the highlights of Codea :-bd

@Paul123 - Dude, just do it.
At the end of the day the price of the app is less than a pint of beer and a packet of fags - in fact it’s probably less than the fags on their own.

It’s an amazing app, and you can do amazing things with it, the key word here is YOU.
If the app is going to sit on your ipad and do nothing then it’s not even worth $0.99 to you, however if you love programming, want to learn programming or want to create something on your iPad then it’s BY FAR the BEST (in fact probably ONLY) app in it’s class on the app store.

This shouldn’t even be a question for you. I dare you to find ANYONE on the forum who hasn’t had at least £6.99 worth of fun from Codea. If you can (and they confirm it to me via PM) - I’ll gift you a copy of the app myself and if you find YOU do enjoy the app then you can gift a copy forward yourself.

I’ve been watching Codea since before I even got my iPad - in fact it was one of the main reasons I GOT an iPad - I even brought a copy via iTunes BEFORE I got my iPad so it could be one of the first (in fact it was the second app - after iBooks) to be installed.

If you need any convincing, take a look around you - what will £6.99 get you - just about a meal at MacDonalds, its’ less than a Pizza, it’s less than two pints, it’s less than a cinema ticket, heck I’ve even paid more than that to park the car whilst the wife goes shopping, even my kids get paid more than that for doing their paper round for a couple of hours.

If you don’t think you’ll get two hours of fun from Codea then don’t waste your time installing it, it you do - it’ll be the cheapest bit of entertainment (cost / per hours of use) you’ll ever buy.


I had my money’s worth in the first hour or two!

@Paul123 - If you want some more info on the language behind Codea (Lua) - check out @Ignatz’s excellent (free) book on the subject. It’s available on the forum from

Now go write something cool! :slight_smile: