5 great iPad apps for developers

By , ITworld |  Development, development tools, ipad

It's just sitting there.

A smooth, glassy surface with a built-in keyboard, Internet connectivity, and a form factor that just begs to get some quick work done.

While much has been made of the iPad as a content consumption device, there are still ways to create work on the popular device from Apple, if you know the apps to use. That creativity applies to writing, graphic design, and even code development.

Application development on the iPad has remained an elusive dream. Because of Apple's policy of not allowing any outside code interpreters on the tablet (or any other iOS device, for that matter), developers are not going to be seeing an onboard IDE with compilation capabilities anytime soon. This is not to say that development work on the iPad is impossible. With the right apps, the iPad is a very good code editing tool that will let you edit code and update applications on the go.


The heart of the matter

Right now, there is one app that can we can easily recommend as the best code editor for the iPad: Textastic. We could pretty much stop right here and tell you to just go download the app for $9.99 so you could see for yourself what we're talking about, but that's not entirely helpful.

There is a great deal about Textastic to like. As an editor, it's a simple, clean interface that does all the things that a good text editor is supposed to do, handling various fonts, tab widths, and auto-indents, with the usual copy and paste, undo and redo, and search and replace.

For coders, though, the magic starts with Textastic's syntax recognition functions. Over 80 different types of syntax (HTML, Objective-C, C++, Ruby, and JavaScript, to name a very few) can be used, which is extremely helpful for editing code. Using the app's HTML syntax recognition capabilities, you can easily hand-code and edit HTML files; you can also preview files (and Markdown files, too) in a built-in Web preview screen.

Textastic is the gold standard for editing text or code on the iPad.

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