Coding app on the iPad

Like many other I have just purchased an iPad 3, and yes the retina display is very beautiful. Having never owned an iOS device before I have spent the majority of the last two weeks spending a fortune on the App Store. Whilst populating my iPad with useless apps, I too a look at the availability of apps for writing code, preferably with an option for SFTP access to a remote server.

The selection is rather limited, however the following are the best options that I found.

Koder

This app is unrelated to Coda on OSX! It’s a decent IDE, but seems buggy when trying to connect with SFTP. Standard FTP is fine but rather slow. The inerface is the best of all the options, although on the retina display it does looks a little pixelated occasionally.

For me though the FTP access really was too slow, and the app would occasionally crash to the app screen, very annoying if you are in the middle of typing. As soon as the purchase shows up in my history I will be requesting a refund.

Gusto

Again, Gusto offers FTP and SFTP access to your remote server. The home screen allows you to add projects similar to the OSX Coda, pulling in a live preview of your projects URL. The interface is decent enough and the performance of the app is pretty good, FTP is certainly faster than Koder.

The app looks good on the retina display, and setting up a connection is intuitive and easy to do. The only issue I found was that I couldn’t see a way of importing a private SSH key to allow SFTP connections. In the end I settled for FTP and ensured nothing sensitive was transferred!

Textastic

It gets great reviews and with reason. The interface is fast, and easy to navigate, and the syntax highlighting is excellent. Koder also support DropBox integration, but the app with the best performance is Textastic easily. The File Properties option makes it an incredibly useful tool, particularly for checking details such as line count.

The one down side is that DropBox doesn’t sync automatically, downloading and re-uploading is a manual process, however FTP syncing is effortless and very easy to setup.

Conclusion

You guessed it, Textastic is my favourite. All the apps are similarly priced the last time I checked so if you’re happy to spend around £7.00 on an iPad IDE, my money is with Textastic.