Learning to program is awesome. You can make yourself think in very different ways, and learn a trade that will be extremely useful in years to come. Plus, it’s fun!
There are plenty of programs on desktop computers for writing and compiling code – but what about on Android? Here are 15 apps that will hopefully make your life easier while programming, whether you are just beginning, or have been programming your whole life. Productivity is extremely important in programming, so maybe a few of these apps will help you be on your way to being a coding maniac!
DeuterIDE’s motto is “Light platform, Heavy coding.” They definitely achieve this. This app (which is best used on tablets because it excels on a bigger screen) is a feature-heavy IDE with support for over 40 languages. If you’re looking for an IDE that can be used to program in a ton of languages, Deuter is right for you.
It comes packed with tons of features including syntax highlighting, automatic indentation and Dropbox sync. There are also virtual keys for commonly used programming symbols, making good use of the virtual keyboard.
The $4.99 price tag seems a little steep, but considering what you are getting it is worth it in the end.
There is a Pro version that allows support for SFTP, Dropbox, custom themes, root mode and SSH. So, for $1.69, it’s probably worth it to support the developer and get the extra features.
One thing to note, however, is that DroidEdit is best used for tablets like the Asus Transformer that have external keyboards to utilize the keyboard shortcuts. Alternatively, you could always connect an external keyboard using Bluetooth.
Code Peeker is an extremely lightweight code reader that allows you to view code really quickly. It supports syntax highlighting for a ton of languages, and when it doesn’t support the language it will still open the file as plain text.
Code Peeker is really helpful when you are programming on your computer but want to use your phone as an external monitor to keep other code open as a reference. The developer hopes to add support for opening files directly from Gmail and file explorers, which would be a great feature.
Overall, Code Peeker is exactly how it seems: simple, ad-free, without any creepy permissions, and free!
Some of it its features include search and replace, undo and redo, and on-screen keyboard helpers. Overall, Syntax Highlighted Code Editor is a very simple editor, but is somewhat overshadowed by free versions of compilers and IDEs.
This app is about as simple as a code viewer can get. It has great syntax highlighting, word find, and line numbers. So, if you are looking for an extremely stripped down, simple, easy to use code viewer, Java Code Viewer might be the app for you.
AIDE is a monster of an app. It allows you to program Android applications directly on your Android device. That way, you basically cut out the middleman of having to use a computer at all. AIDE is fully compatible with Eclipse projects, so it’s easy to transfer your projects from your computer to your phone.
Additionally, AIDE comes with a lot of features. One of the more important features is Dropbox compatibility. Rather than using up phone storage, you can store all of your projects on Dropbox and easy sync back your changes.
Overall, AIDE is a beautiful IDE and is a really cool way to create Android Apps directly on your device. Plus, it’s FREE!
Requires: Android 2.2+
Google Play Link: AIDE
Developer: AIDE Team
JavaIDEdroid is not for a new programmer. It serves a similar purpose to AIDE in that it allows you to create Android applications directly on your Android device. However, I’ve found that it is much less user-friendly and is more for a power user than for one that desires a beautiful IDE.
JavaIDEdroid is free, but there is a Pro version that adds multiple features for an extremely steep price of $7.90, including project templates so that you don’t need to start from square-one every time.
Overal, JavaIDEdroid should only be considered if you are looking for an IDE that is very stripped down visually, but very feature-packed internally.
Terminal IDE is a very cool IDE for programming Java/Android applications. It’s amazing how much Spartacus Rex put into a free app. It features a custom ASCII on-screen “soft” keyboard and a generic external “hard” keyboard key mapper. Therefore, you can use CTRL, ALT, ESC and other keys that aren’t on the typical Android keyboard.
Additionally, with Terminal IDE you can log in using telnet or ssh to use your computer to program on your Android device. Terminal IDE is feature-heavy and user-friendly – and did I mention that it’s FREE?
Requires: Android 2.3+
Google Play Link: Spartacus Rex
Android Java Editor is a simple version of the IDE’s/Compilers above. The developer has plans to make it into a full-fledged IDE some day, but for the moment it’s a simple editor. You can create projects, and edit the source code and xml files directly on your device.
Since it is only an editor, you can’t easily compile and run the application using Android Java Editor. However, the app looks beautiful (similar to Eclipse) so if you’re just going to make quick changes, it could become your best friend for Android programming.
Java Quick Reference Cards could really come in handy when you’re programming or studying for an exam. It comes with 45 cheat sheets that will be of use wherever you go. Additionally, a Java programming guide is also included.
When is this useful? Imagine yourself programming on your computer and you forget the correct syntax for something you are trying to do. You could minimize your window and search the internet, or you could keep Java Quick Reference Cards open on your phone and always have the answers immediately.
C4droid is a classic C compiler that you can use on your Android device. It utilizes the gcc compiler, the compiler often used on Unix. It is a little tricky to get set up, so be prepared for the process to take a while.
C4droid can also compile C++, but you currently need to root your phone to get access to this feature. Overall, C4droid is an effective way to compile your C code on the fly.
Requires: Android 2.1+
Google Play Link: C4droid
C/C++ Compiler advertises that is a fully-compatible C/C++ compiler. However, it appears that it can only actually compile C code, not C++. Therefore, this app automatically gets marked down in my opinion. The C compiler seems to work well and would be useful for those that need a C compiler.
C4droid beats C/C++ Compiler almost everywhere, but if you can’t seem to get C4droid to work then this is a decent alternative.
Are you a C# programmer? Want to learn how to use it? C# To Go is an awesome app that provides a C# compiler right on your device. It is a very standard app and successfully does exactly what it says it will. The included debugger and syntax tester works really well also.
If you have any interest in C#, C# To Go will become a close companion for mobile use. Plus, it’s completely free!
C++ Programming Reference FREE is brought to you by the same developer that created Java Quick Reference cards. Just like Java Quick Reference cards, this app is a great, user-friendly way to quickly look up syntax and theory questions whenever you need.
It includes 23 different chapters, ranging from “classes” to “polymorphism”. It’s free, so if you are a C++ programmer check it out!
C Programming Reference FREE is a third reference app brought to you by NadsTech, the makers of C++ Programming Reference FREE and Java Quick Reference Cards. It includes quick reference cards, including data types and string operations, and it includes reference guides that coverthe C standard library and much more.
If you’re a C programmer, this is a great reference to keep handy. Just like all the other reference guides, it’s free and easy to use. It can really boost your productivity while programming.