On iPad coding apps (updated)

Well, of course we all love Codea. But, it doesn’t mean we only know or only use Codea. Here I want to share all coding apps for iOS that I know.

What I mean by “coding app” is not just a code editor but really an app that let us write, debug, and execute code on iPad directly and offline (no remote server required). I also exclude web based coding apps since they aren’t spesific to iPad and require persistent internet connection.

UPDATE: After about 4 years since this post was written, not all of these apps could survive. Most of them either no longer updated (more than two years) or no longer available in the App Store. So, I’ll striked-out all the apps that are unable to survive to this day (Juli 7th, 2017), though I keep the link intact just in case they’re available again.

Here they are …

  1. Codea — The best coding app for visual programming. Period.

  2. Pythonista — Multipurpose coding app using Python. Support iPhone.

  3. Kodiak PHP — PHP offline interpreter. Includes popular libraries. Run PHP code on the iPad.

  4. Kodiak JS — JavaScript offline interpreter. Similar to Kodiak PHP.

  5. Coders — The first coding app I knew. Very –I mean very– simple.

  6. Procoding — JavaScript visual programming. Processing inspired. But 3D graphics isn’t supported (yet).

  7. Scriptkit — Claim as drag-and-drop and touch-friendly coding app. Free with in-app purchase (to save code).

  8. GamePress is now hyperPad — Not actually a coding app because it lets you make games literally visually. Best to teach programming to kids.

    UPDATE: more coding apps

  9. techBasic — Native UI controls. More access to device’s sensors. Math friendly.

  10. iLuaBox — Advance libraries as in-app purchase. The editor isn’t really good.

  11. Hopscotch — Coding app for kids. Another kind of GamePress but not really similar. Free.

  12. Basic! — Simple coding app for Basic language. The editor isn’t really good.

  13. Mobile Basic — Another coding app for Basic language. The editor also isn’t really good. But this one has GPS dan native UI support.

  14. Luna — Very simple Lua coding apps. Similar to Coders.

  15. DraftCode — PHP offline interpreter. Include many popular PHP libraries. Similar to Kodiak PHP.

  16. Lisping — Lisp/scheme offline interpreter. It has interesting editing concept. I know nothing about Lisp so I can’t say much about this app.

  17. Raskell — Haskell offline interpreter. Interesting vi-like keyboard. From the author of Lisping.

  18. Jasic — JavaScript IDE for iPad. Many advance modules available through in-app purchase.

  19. Node — JavaScript offline interpreter for iOS, specifically using node.js API.

  20. Dringend — Objective C development environment with remote builder (on Mac) and using DropBox for code synchronization. Warning: an Apple’s iOS developer program is required to enable remote builder.

  21. Python for iOS — Simple Python editor and interpreter for iOS. An app for each Python version (from v2.5 to v3.4).

  22. Swift Playgrounds — Apple’s IDE for Swift on iOS (iPad). It’s more for education but has advance features as well. It provides access to all iOS SDKs. I dare to say this app is the first step toward XCode for iOS. It’s free.

  23. Continuous — A professional C# and F# IDE for iPad. It provides access to all iOS SDKs and .Net libraries. It’s not free.

  24. smartBASIC — A simple Basic IDE for iOS (universal). The SDK offers pretty complete features, but the editor is rather, well… basic.

  25. LowRes Coder — Yet another simple Basic IDE for iOS (universal). This one specializing itself on retro games with low resolution graphics (as the name implies).

  26. TouchLua — Another Lua IDE for iOS. Free with in-app purchases. Separate app for iPhone and iPad.

I have all these apps (the list before updated), except Scriptkit. I just love to collect coding apps, though I don’t use them all. I’m a programmer and love to code, after all. But Codea and Pythonista is the app I use oftenly.

Any other coding apps? Please share your coding app that hasn’t yet mentioned with some comments about it. Thank you in advance.

@bee You forgot techBasic - great for writing general purpose apps with great IO support for 3rd party devices including Bluetooth LE. Can export to xCode with an additional module for publishing to AppStore etc…

I also dabled in the past with Basic! and Mobile Basic. Mobile Basic was a lot faster the Basic! but then I discovered Codea and never looked back.

But just Codea will become a legend! (“Do you remember the good all days, when we programmed games very easy on the old iPad?..”) 8->

Yup. There’s “Basic!”, “Procoding”, “Editorial” (kind of), and if you’re looking for web apps too, there’s “Touch Develop”.
Nice list though!

Oh, and “C64”.

@zoyt: Isn’t c64 an emulator?

@bee - Yes, but you can still make games with it. It has the console to code in Basic.

I also want to mention Dmitry Kovba’s Programming series apps. They don’t go to the list because they execute the code remotely. And the editor is very simple. But the languages they support are tremendous. Now, there are apps for 22 programming languages.

Luna is a not-nearly-as-good-as-Codea Lua coding app.

table.insert(iPadCodingApps, “Luna”)?

Thank you for the contribution to the list. Please keep them coming so we could see what the others do on coding apps. One more thing I learn by making this list, is that some coding apps that the editor looks simple –or even primitive if compare to Codea’s– sometimes have better and more complete libraries support, like GPS access, database, native UI, code sharing, etc. I wonder why they didn’t make the editor better with more features? I guess it’s about priority.

Another thing I see is Apple’s rules inconsistency to coding apps. For example, some apps are allowed to have code sharing, but the others are not. I guess all the app reviewers of these apps got the same rule book from Apple. Why do they apply it differently?

There’s also Gusto (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/gusto-code-editor-ftp-client/id364906873?mt=8) which can be used to edit HTML and Javascript on the fly.

It can be used to dev simple Javascript canvas games if you want.

Gusto is more a code editor than an app creator. Its ability to code HTML and JavaScript on the fly is due the nature of WebUIKit, but its core function is still code editor. CMIIW.

Just found CodeToGo. Looks pretty good, lots of programming languages, though apparently you can’t install new libraries, and there’s no user input.

If we’re talking about code editors, there’s a boat load of them. That beings said, the Kodiak apps are basically code editors for JS and PHP.

Kodiak PHP is not just code editor because it comes with offline/local PHP interpreter. There are also many libraries included. So you can build a complete full blown PHP apps on the iPad. Just like Codea comes with offline/local Lua interpreter with APIs and libraries…

Kodiak JS is like Procoding. It provide tool to create JS apps with many useful libraries, including API for graphics, access to device sensors, local storage, etc. It is clearly more than just editor, although to run the app it only need a WebUIKit interface.

CodeToGo is like Kovba’s app. It’s just an interface to online code executor, in this case is ideone.com. I exclude this kind of coding app because practically you can’t build a useful app for your device. Without this app, you could easily visit ideone.com and write some codes there. No difference.

Also need to be emphasized, you do NOT need Apple developer account to write program USING these coding apps. Apple dev account is ONLY needed if you want to make your program become an independent (stand-alone) app (by export it to XCode) AND publish (sell) it on the Apple’s app store.

Quick modification to @bee’s comment - You can export the code and run it in the iOS Simulator, just not on your device or release it on the iOS App Store. So, if you wanted to, you could export a Codea app and write Obj-C functions for it, you just couldn’t run it on your iOS device.

@bee right… those stupid “on-line compilers” should be taken out behind the woodshed and shot. They’re not useful for anything, since all they really do is execute some code on a web server and return the output.

Sure, you can do some basic math with them, but they’re not good for any practical use.

What’s frustrating is when you search for “compiler” in the app store, you get about 20 of those for every actual on-device compiler/interpreter.