The days of needing a full blown desktop rig to code complex projects are behind us, and we’re now in an era where it’s entirely reasonable to whip out a portable device to work on your next software innovation on the go.
If you’ve got an iPhone and you want to use it for coding, there are a few things you need to know first about doing this efficiently, effectively and safely.
Battery life can be a coder’s kryptonite
The battery life of the iPhone range varies, with the larger models boasting anywhere from 9 to 12 hours of use.
The problem is, when you’re coding and testing on a mobile device like this, you’ll usually put the hardware under more intense strain than for typical tasks, which can cause battery life to be much lower than the reported averages.
Thus anyone who wants to keep coding uninterrupted should either bring a charging cable and sit in reach of a wall socket, or better yet take a battery bank along with them so that they aren’t reliant on mains power.
Make sure your iPhone is secure and not hacked
Every line of code you write is precious, and you don’t want your potentially game-changing project to end up in the wrong hands.
That’s why you should check to see if your iPhone is properly secured and protected against threats before you add any sensitive data to it.
You can of course use security apps to handle this automatically, but it’s also sensible to stay alert to signs of hacking. For example, if you experience sluggish performance when no apps are running, then your iPhone may have been hacked.
Consider using peripherals to improve the experience
Coding requires lots of user inputs, and the iPhone’s touchscreen may be large and responsive, but it’s not well suited to extended sessions of entering text.
You could always get around this by pairing it with an affordable keyboard, which is easier than you’d expect. The right adapter will let you plug a standard USB keyboard into an iPhone, or any other smartphone for that matter. You could also go wireless with a Bluetooth keyboard that will pair with your mobile device and seriously accelerate your code writing efforts.
Another worthwhile peripheral to invest in is a stylus. This will give you much more precision than using your fingertips alone, and it could cumulatively save you hours of time.
Having headphones to hand is another good move, because plenty of people enjoy background music while coding to keep them in the zone. If you’re in public, you don’t want to share your sounds with everyone. If you’re a developer and you don’t have a good set of wireless headphones, treat yourself to this essential gift.
Make sure your work is backed up remotely
Portable devices like the iPhone are easy to lose, and also act as a magnet for opportunistic thieves. Because of this, you can’t afford to risk your coding projects going walkabouts if your handset is lost or stolen as well.
This is where either using software that automatically backs up your work when you make changes, or remembering to manually save what you’ve achieved to a remote server, comes into play.
Don’t just rely on the device’s onboard storage, but give yourself peace of mind with a backup system that will save you from potential disaster.
Coding on an iPhone is still a niche practice, but as you get up to speed with it you might find that it fits your routine perfectly, especially if you take these tips onboard.