While some folks continue to claim the iPad is a “consumption device” other people are using it for creation. And not just the artsy-fartsy types who use it for cool “finger paintings” but more and more programmers are getting into the act.
Apple still has some rules in place that keep the iPad from being a total portable software studio, but it’s really close now — depending on what kind of programming you’re into.
Probably the leading tool for game programmers is Codea (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/codea/id439571171?mt=8). It uses Lua as the language and includes a graphic framework that allows you to “easily” create games, from simple to complex. All of the games you write have to run right inside Codea — that’s part of the Apple restrictions I mentioned earlier.
However, the guys behind Codea created a “wrapper” that can be used with a Codea-based game and fed into Xcode — and out pops a native app that can be submitted to the App Store. With that addition you can now work on a game on the go (Riding the train to work? On your lunch break?) and when it’s done, convert into a native app.
There are a lot of text editors on the iPad that cater to programmers (Textastic and Diet Coda are my two favorites) but there’s a new app available that’s aimed at PHP programmers — and even allows you to run PHP code on your iPad. Offline. You don’t have to be connected to the internet.
That’s an awesome advantage to those of us who have wi-fi iPads and are running from place to place and writing bits of code here and there.
It’s called Kodiak PHP and is brand new on the App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kodiak-php/id542685332?mt=8). Full disclosure, I was given a pre-release copy to play around with but it was with the understanding that I wouldn’t promote it unless I really liked it.
And I do. It’s a very cool tool for anybody who does PHP programming (or wants to get into it). The editor does syntax highlighting and includes an extra row of buttons along the top so you can get to things like $ and ; without needing to switch keyboard layouts.
It’s only $10 after the launch special, but even if you miss the sale it’s worth the price for the ability to code and execute PHP right on your iPad.
If you’re into web development/programming and find yourself away from your desk with time to kill, Kodiak PHP is a cool tool to have at your fingertips.
Look at one of the examples in the screenshot below — grabs info from a Twitter URL in JSON format, decodes it, and displays it on the screen. In PHP, on your iPad. Just way cool.