Code Editor is kind of a 3-in-1 tool for working on websites:
- SSH client,
- FTP client,
- Text editor.
This is the perfect set of features for me for working with Hugo sites because I need to move files around (FTP), edit files (text editor), and compile the site to see my changes (SSH client).
Furthermore, I often use each of these features individually to do some quick task. The FTP functionality alone is pretty valuable ever since Panic discontinued their Transmit FTP app on iOS.
Code Editor is not perfect, however. I’m not going to say I’m hesitant to recommend it, because I’m not, but there are a couple caveats.
First, it’s not a new app and it will eventually be replaced by a new Panic product called Nova. Right now, Nova is still in development on the Mac, and only after it has been released there will it make its way to iOS. So it probably won’t happen for some time.
Second, Code Editor’s file system UI is a little wonky. As you navigate through it and tap on files, it feels a little clunky to get back to where you were in the file system to play with other files, even ones in the same directory. The animated gif below shows a little bit of this. Code Editor really needs the ability to have a persistent directory structure view. It’s most noticeable when you’re in text edit view and then want to get back to the file view that you were in when you started your edit. Unfortunately it requires a lot of taps and it feels like hopping around for no reason.
Nevertheless, the beauty of Code Editor remains that it’s an all-in-one solution for editing files on remote systems. It is a deceptively powerful app that might be all you ever need for working on websites on your iPad.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what Panic comes up with in Nova. I expect it will feel much fresher and less navigationally challenged. In the meantime, I’m thankful that Code Editor is still a product in Panic’s lineup every single day.