Apps You Might Enjoy

28 Oct 2019

Ever get so busy you just can't make it to your computer to get some coding done? Not even one little coding challenge? Well, luckily there are several different apps and tools to keep you coding or learning about coding while on the go. Note: some of the things on the list are just for IOS and made easier for me to use on my iPad by the fact that I have a bluetooth keyboard. I'll be sure to mention when the separate keyboard is best in my opinion.

On to the apps!

Grasshopper: a cute little Duolingo type app for on the go learning. The app is really clever in that the typing involved is restricted to actual text or numbers. No fiddling to bring up the parenthesis or brackets on your on screen keyboard. The upside: it helps you with pattern recognition and logic. The downside: no muscle memory for typing out actual code and the coding challenges are just for JavaScript.

Mimo: This little app also has some similar features to Duolingo like Grasshopper, mainly the daily goals and streaks. The actual content of the app goes over front-end basics. This is a good app for anyone who has never touched code at all and want to know what the heck HTML is exactly. They have a ton of different languages and categories, but these seem to be behind a pay wall. It isn't terribly expensive but I think it's worth mentioning.

Coda by Panic: A very versatile text editor on IOS and Mac. I don't have a Mac so I'm only going to be talking about the app here. Also, this is an app that works best with a Bluetooth keyboard. The upsides: color coded text for the language you are working in and multiple languages available to work in. There is also text completion that I am used to working with in Visual Studio Code. The downside: no pushing to Github support (though they might have that in another one of their apps I'm not sure). I'll cover that in my next app. This app is also a paid app, and it's not very cheap. I wish there was a trial feature on IOS, but there isn't. If you are looking at this app I would check out YouTube to get a more hands on view of what the app is like.

Working Copy: A true Git client for the iPad. There is a text editor built in, but, at least in comparison to Coda, I didn't like it much. Instead, I use this app by exporting my repos files from Coda into Working Copy then initializing the repo and pushing the repo from there. Not everything is super intuitive, but with some trial and error I was able to figure out how to actually get my code online. I think it goes without saying that for the text editing portion of this app a Bluetooth keyboard is a must in my opinion ESPECIALLY because, at least from what I could find, there is no text completion on the app. So you will be typing out every parenthesis and bracket. This app is paid as well, but there is a trial period within the app. So it's free to download and use, but there's no dark mode in the free version and you can't commit to Github. In the settings you can turn on the trial and see if you like it though. This app is cheaper than Coda and has a text editor, so this might be a good first app to dip your toes into developing on an iPad. I know I know! This is totally cheating! It's not an app per se and it doesn't require actual code writing. BUT! I should have put it in my resources list and I totally missed it. So, why am I putting it here then? Because amongst all of the listicles like this one (ha!) there are some great examples of code and explanations of said code and the thinking that went into that code. Sure you can go to the Github and creep on other people's code, but unless they have great comments the code alone tell you the whole story. WHY did they choose that framework? What made them think that this language was the best for the job? Maybe in the end they learned it wasn't actually all that great for this project, but unless they put that in a comment or text file somewhere you'll never know.

This small list contains the few apps I use every day! For learning there is an Udemy app, but the reason I didn't put it on this list is because well.. It's on that other list and it's not exclusively a coding app. There are tons of resources out there! Try to use them to their fullest! Until next week!