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Issue: 11.1 (January/February 2013)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,773
Starting Page Number: 17
Article Number: 11104
Related Link(s): None

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If you're like me and interested in other programming languages, but don't have a lot of spare time to learn them, nor an interest beyond the hobbyist level, you should check out Pythonista, a handy iPad/iPhone app that lets you program in Python.

Because Apple places restrictions on what types of programming can be done on an iOS device, I don't expect to be able to create standalone programs within an app like this. It's more like scripts that you can run within the app, but that's great for learning and doing this on the iPad is more fun and less work than doing it on a full computer.

However, Pythonista does let you export apps as Xcode projects which can be opened on your Mac and compiled to standalone apps. While you can preview this using the simulator on the Mac, you need a paid iOS developer license to actually run it on an iOS device. Still, this adds to the value of this app considerably.

Within Pythonista you can edit, run, and debug the scripts you write. There's support for a wide variety of iOS capabilities such as sound, graphics, multitouch, rotation, and more. The Pythonista editor is customizable and very nice for editing code; support for external keyboards is also good. I haven't had time to explore everything, as there's a lot, but the built-in documentation is really handy for getting a handle on what Pythonista can do.

While I really wish someone would create something like this for Real Studio, the Python language is similar in syntax in terms of object-orientation "dot" structure and is easy enough to follow. If you're curious about Python or would just like to program on your iPad, Pythonista might be just the ticket.

End of article.