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Coding from iPad with Glitch

I use my iPad Pro ~9 hrs/day, according to iOS Screen Time. I haven’t opened my MacBook in 2 weeks. It’s great.

How do I code from my iPad? Glitch in Safari.

How do you get started with Glitch? It’s really, really simple. You go there, tap New Project, & start coding. You can see a live preview as you work. You can code with friends, realtime. There’s logs & a terminal. You can connect a custom domain, download your code, import or export to GitHub. Glitch even lets you know when your npm packages have updates. It’s amazing.

I’ve made the Hack Penn recap site, the AngelHacks site, this site & most of its posts, & many more on Glitch recently.

Drawbacks

There are three things I seriously miss: Prettier, Vim, & the web inspector. Prettier I seriously hope Glitch will integrate, Vim I don’t expect them to, & the web inspector Apple just needs to build.

I’m doing without those for now because the iPad support so significantly outweighs them for my personal workflow. If you’re coding full-time (I’m not anymore, because college), I would absolutely try an alternative.

I’ve also documented a handful of bugs with Glitch on iPad & notified their amazing team about them, so I’m hoping it’ll be less rough around the edges soon.

(Also, if you’re using Gatsby or Next.js—I use them for essentially every site—the end of this post has a tip to improve the experience.)

Alternatives

There are a bunch of other ways to code from iPad, too!

If you’re not working offline & used to a terminal text editor, grab an app like Blink Shell, spin up your own server or DigitalOcean/EC2/etc, & you’re ready to go.

This is less portable, but via @jxnblk, you can run anything on a connected Raspberry Pi over USB-C.

I’m not running the iPadOS/iOS beta on my primary devices, but once iPadOS is released, we’ll have even more tools available. Owen Williams is using full VSCode with it.

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