Five Ways To Code On An iPad

iPads exist in a “walled garden” – something that draws a lot of criticism from hackers. The advantage is that you’ve got great assurance in the quality of the software (it might be okay to use, but it’s less likely to be malware). The disadvantage is that you can’t load software from just anywhere easily.

The iPad also doesn’t have its own Integrated Development Environment – you have to use a Mac to write iPad apps. But this doesn’t mean you can’t use an iPad to learn to program. It’s a great portable computer that can be used to build web sites, design apps, code apps and learn to hack.

Here’s five apps that make it easier.

  1. Swift Playgrounds (App Store Link) This is a test development environment and an education app designed to introduce students to Swift – the official language for debveloping iPad (and iPhone) apps. It includes a heap of tutorials and there are accompanying books and reference materials. All for free.
  2. Codea (App Store Link) Codea for iPad lets you create games and simulations — or any visual idea you have. Turn your thoughts into interactive creations that make use of iPad features like Multi-Touch and the accelerometer. It uses Lua.
  3. Mimo (App Store Link) Mimo presents a simple path-based approach to skills development – choosing to be a web developer, a game developer, a hacker and more. There are free parts to it but the full version isn’t cheap.
  4. Pythonista (App Store Link) Pythonista is a complete Python scripting environment on your iPhone or iPad and includes dozens of examples. It’s not a series of tutorials. – it’s designed to be used with a book. Maybe choose one from this page.
  5. Learn HTML(App Store Link) This, and others in the Learn series, are free apps to help you learn different programming skills – from C to Java, PHP to Python. Worthwhile loading a few of them.

There a dozens more apps which provide help in coding, some free, some cheap and some pricey. But what about not using apps? There are a heap of ways to learn just using a web browser.

Code Academy and Trinket would be two examples of web sites that include the ability to write and test code. There are others, if you have a favourite, let us know.

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