Developing on an iPad
Since my last blog post, I’ve spent some more time using Textastic and Working Copy on my iPad. It was money well spent.
I won’t even give any conditionals, like “it works for light text editing,” or “it is only for a quick, one line fix.” I wrote my entire last blog post using the combination and I’m writing this one in the back seat of a minivan next to a sleeping 18 month old on my way to Codemash. I also converted a small web application from ejs to Jade. This wasn’t a ton of work, but it involved modifying Typescript files, renaming the ejs files, and adding new folders and layout files. That wouldn’t be impressive, except the iPad is supposed to be a consumption device, remember?
I had some initial issues, but I’ve found soultions to most of them. Cursor placement is still the biggest, but I was given a tip on Twitter on using two fingers in the keyboard area to get mouse-like behavior. That speeds things up. I also stumbled across a four-way navigation control built into Textastic which makes moving the curser small amounts and making precise selection changes a breeze.
I do frequently forget that I have keys that give me quick access to commonly used symbols and numbers. I’ll switch the keyboard before I remember they are there, but I try to force myself to use the quick access keys to build the muscle memory. I chalk issues like that up to the normal pains when switching text editors.
Working Copy is pivotal to my workflow, but I don’t feel like I’ve used it enough to comment too much on it. I haven’t yet figured out how to copy files, but it’s done everything else you’d hope a git client with basic file management would do.
And I just noticed that Textastic gives me a quick option to open the file I just created in Working Copy. Nice touch!