Coding on the go isn’t difficult with a good Bluetooth keyboard or the virtual approximation of a physical keyboard. The biggest challenge lies in finding a suitable compiler that will perform when inspiration strikes you. Check out the following Android code editors for when you’re away from the computer.
Whether you are a learner, a hobbyist or an enthusiastic developer, there’s something for everyone here. Although this list should not be viewed for its rankings, the coding apps have been progressively recommended for learners all the way up to professionals.
1. Turbo Editor
Pros: A neat Spartan interface to hone your coding skills in an Open Source environment. You can easily share your results over Hangouts and transfer files from your local SD cards.
Cons: Mostly a work in progress. But, if they fix the bugs, Turbo Editor has real potential.
Slightly more sophisticated, Quoda does exactly what it says on the tin, – “code productively away from PC.” You are never prompted to go for a paid version, and the app always promises to keep itself ad-free. Quoda supports several languages including Lua, Ruby, SQL, Perl, Python Class, etc., with syntax highlighting. It’s a fast and responsive editor with hardly any glaring bugs or issues.
Pros: This is the right fit if want to try out a sophisticated code editor for free. You can search any line of code, along with auto-completion of text. The paid version allows you to share files over Dropbox/Google Drive.
Cons: Normal tabs don’t work smoothly. There can be a few issues with Cloud file imports even in the Pro version.
Dcoder can save your day if you are trapped in long public commutes and could do with a few creative spells. It works decently even with your native Android keyboard. One of the best for learning IDEs, the app allows you to choose from over thirty languages. Featuring a rich text editor with syntax highlighting, the output is visible right on the window, which is reassuring. The “Design Now” feature is ideal for web developers. The app is generally free, but the paid version isn’t too expensive.
Pros: A nice Android compiler with zero troubles. Perfect for learners.
Cons: The GoPro version promises to be much more but is still not very profitable for serious developers.
DroidEdit deserves a mention because it is a complete code compiler that does nearly everything the previous apps do. Some people won’t like it because of the annoying ads in the free version. Still, DroidEdit manages to retain its popularity with many developers. The app also feels professional because of its support for tab indentation, going over lines, browser previews, quick scrolling and running scripts in SL4A directly.
Pros: The app is everything that a mobile IDE should be. Therefore, it is ideal for professionals.
Cons: Unless you cough up the money for a paid version, the app you’ll struggle to get work done because of annoying ads.
5. AIDE (Android Interactive Development Environment)
AIDE offers an expert interface and leaves nothing behind in its presentation as a full development kit. It has a comprehensive list of free learning tutorials along with support for the Eclipse project. The app feels intuitive at every step due to reduced compilation efforts. Whether you want to hone your web programming skills or develop your dream software, AIDE does not beat around the bush.
The free version is quite self-sufficient, but you still have to go for the paid version to unlock the best features. However, there are no ads or interruptions in the free version.
Pros: This is a lovely app. You can develop everything from mobile games to high quality apps right on your Android device.
Cons: None that might be of a major concern.
Although fun and helpful, many Android IDEs can disappoint in terms of responsiveness and stability. The criteria used for evaluation in this article had a lot to do with finding the best fit. The free app shouldn’t compromise on features or performance compared to the paid version. Less pop-up ads or no ads are always desirable.
What is your favorite mobile coding interface?