The iPad and iPhone probably can’t replace a Mac for most developers, but iOS and third-party apps geared towards coding while mobile have come a long, long way. I’ve heard from a growing number of developers that they’re starting to do more work on iOS, usually on an iPad, so I was curious to check out the status of coding on mobile.

From big hitters like Panic decisively dropping ‘Diet’ from Coda’s name, to clients for just about any API and service you could want, iOS is more capable than ever at mobile coding. Check out some of the good options I found from talking to a few developers and just a little research in the store.


Textastic for iPad and iPhone is a feature-packed editor that supports syntax highlighting for over 80 programming and markup languages, works with FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Dropbox, and iCloud, and even supports TextMate syntax definitions and themes.


Pythonista for iPad and iPhone is a text editor focused on Python. It features interactive prompts with code completion, in-app documentation, examples for getting started, and more.


Built by Panic, one of the longest standing and most revered shops in the Apple community, Coda for iPad and iPhone is “an incredibly powerful and portables text editor.” Note that Panic dropped the ‘Diet’ adjective from the name with its recent major, desktop-class update, positioning Coda for serious work on iPad and iPhone.

It features syntax highlighting for a broad variety of languages, text clips, Find & Replace, context keys, a clever “Super Loupe” feature, local and remote file management, and support for a variety of transfer protocols and including S/FTP, Amazon S3, WebDAV. There is also Air Preview for use with Coda for Mac, an SSH Terminal, and… just go buy it already.


Transmit for iPad and iPhone, also built by Panic, is for serious file transfer and management. You can move and manage files across a variety of services, set permissions, and upload files from other apps. Transmit can also Open In Place, which means it can open, say, a Numbers document on your server, and when you save in Numbers it goes right back to your server.


Prompt 2 for iPad and iPhone is a serious SSH and TELNET client. A favorite among admins, Prompt allows you to check on and manage your servers, and even make some basic typo fixes. It supports text clips, Touch ID locking, server syncing, and more.


iOctocat for iPad and iPhone is “GitHub in your pocket.” You can check on your projects (though you’ll need to buy the in-app Pro version to interact with your public projects), manage commits, search trending repositories, and open, close, and edit issues.

Dash API Docs

Dash API Docs for iPad and iPhone is an offline, searchable repository of over 150 API documentation sets. It supports doc sets for some of the popular creation tools, displaying methods in a ToC, and fuzzy search.

Honorable Mentions

Duet Display

Duet Display for iPad and iPhone turns your iOS device into a second display for your Mac. It boasts zero lag and a no-hassle setup process.


There are dozens of project and bug-tracking tools geared towards developers, but diving into those falls outside the scope I wanted here. But, I do feel like Wunderlist for iPad and iPhone is worth a mention in terms of an all-around good task manager that could work for app projects, but also the rest of your work and personal life. I like it because it has some great features and flexibility, supports collaborative projects and lists if you want them, and it’s one of, if not the, best efforts I’ve seen from an (optionally) collaborative app to go native on as many platforms as possible.

Xscope Mirror

xScope Mirror for iPhone and iPad requires xScope 4 for Mac, so it isn’t a stand-alone iOS dev app. But what it does is really cool: designers and developers can instantly preview any image from a Mac directly on iOS devices and Watch. It also supports a remote connection to Photoshop, allowing you to preview changes as you work on a PSD.

Dashboards for things that matter

These apps aren’t directly for coding, but Status Board, Numerous, and Numerics are a great way to survey your progress, accomplishments, customer support and bug tracking queues, or just about anything else you want in big, beautiful dashboards. They offer various levels of customization and service integration, and usually have some way to display on larger screens via either AirPlay or HD dongles.

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