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More options for programming on iOS


Yesterday I posted about Python on the iPhone, and how cool it was to be able to put code together right on an iOS device. We've previously posted about Codea a few times, but since yesterday, I've heard about a few other good options for writing and running code inside of an iOS app.

First up, Pythonista is an app that a few people recommended to me -- it's an iPad app that also includes a Python interpreter, and has a number of modules built in and ready to go to help you assemble prototypes and apps quickly. Pythonista can even export directly to Xcode on a Mac, so you can put together an app on the iPad, and then bring it over to the desktop to get it ready for eventually even publishing it. The app looks great -- it's available on the App Store for US$4.99 right now.

And today, word is going around about an app called ScriptKit, which uses a very interesting drag-and-drop interface to put together apps in what looks like Javascript, which can then be run and exported from your iPad. You'll still need some code knowledge to put apps together (and familiarity with APIs might help too, it sounds like), but the idea with ScriptKit is to keep users away from the iPad's keyboard completely, instead just swiping and dragging around the screen to assemble code.

That is fascinating, and it's one reason why I'm so excited about the possibilities of using a device like the iPad for actual app creation. Apple's built a great marketplace for apps, and with the popularity of the iPhone and the iPad, it's created a huge userbase of people ready to spend money to support them. Right now, there's still a fairly large wall of knowledge required to put an app together. But with new interfaces like ScriptKit (which is free, with an in-app purchase of $19.99 for full functionality), we're moving closer and closer to the point where anyone with a really great idea will have the chance to drag some code together and make something really useful and cool.


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