Mini meme Code-teaching apps
French? Spanish? Cantonese? Get with it, Gramps – the languages you need to learn now are the ones for talking to computers
Because everyone has to know coding nowadays, innit bruv?
Stuff says +++++ from £free / Android, IOS
There’s more than a whiff of Duolingo about this cartoonish programming app. Pick a course and friendly exercises lead you through the basics, which involves creating all manner of tiny pseudo-apps. Py has a tendency to blaze through, rather than correcting errors, but exercises can be reviewed and replayed. And it’s fun.
Stuff says ++++, £free (IAPS) / Android, IOS
We’re some way yet from an ipad version of Xcode, but Swift Playgrounds is a step towards being able to make ipad apps on an actual ipad. The lessons guide you through the basics of Swift, and – being that this is an Apple app – it’s not all dry numbers. Instead, you run your code and get an interactive 3D world to fiddle about with.
Stuff says ++++, £free / ipad
Textastic is very much of the opinion that a coding app should get out of the way and let you code. It offers a streamlined experience, with great syntax highlighting, cloud drive support, and a custom keyboard for quickly entering characters even on an iphone. Ever wanted to make a website while sitting on a train? Now’s your chance.
Stuff says +++++ £9.99 / IOS
Droidedit enables you to code pretty much anywhere. There’s Git and cloud drive support, custom keys, Emmet for rapidly expanding expressions into html, and the ability to open and mod anything on a rooted Android device. If you’re serious about coding, avoid the limited free version and spend a couple of quid on Pro instead.
Stuff says ++++, £1.99 / Android
Human Resource Machine
A game about programming? Madness! And yet, because this is by the World of Goo folks, it’s brilliant. You use logic and loops to ‘programme’ an office drone’s workplace tedium. It’s both meta and poignant, and you’ll learn a thing or two as well, not least when a surly manager demands you “optimise”.
Stuff says +++++ £4.89 / Android £4.99 / IOS