Still taking a bit to keep these on schedule, but I am still making sure that you’re getting new apps every week. This time around, it’s a bit more of a geeky collection of apps. First up is an app that helps you do sys admin and development work from your iOS device. I’ve also got an app that’s basically training wheels for the Terminal. Then I close out the week with an app that helps you migrate your playlists to Apple Music.
Coda for iOS – Universal
Originally born as Diet Coda, Coda for iOS was an app that allowed for Web Developers/Admins to do their job from an iPad. The app has gotten a huge update, and I figured it was time to take a look at the app.
The app has a file browser, text editor, terminal, as well as a keyboard tailored for development. I mostly used this play around with a test server I have at home. I was able to browse through the remote file system, and ssh to the terminal. There is a built in web browser that allows you to preview pages as you update them.
This is an awesome way to do development or admin work. There are a variety of supported languages. You’ll want to check before downloading that your language of choice is supported. The app has a great interface that makes it easy to do most tasks. The new look to the app also gives it a distinctive appearance that feels at home in the modern iOS.
What’s Good: Allows you to do development and admin work on the iPad, with a simple interface.
What Sucks: The app’s pitch as a web development tool means that some people might miss out on the admin work that’s possible.
Buy it?: If you’re looking for a powerful way to do admin and development work on your iOS device, check out Coda for iOS. Get it on the App Store for $9.99.
Democracy.io – Web
Election time is coming up and everyone’s got an axe to grind. Not to mention that the next bill attacking Internet freedom is right around the corner. (This post is US centric, so I apologize, but concerned coders might want to contact the EFF to build a similar app for your country.) Democracy.io is a project of the EFF to make it dead simple to contact your representatives in Congress, all from one from if you desire.
All you have to do is input your address, then you get a list of your Senators and Representative, and you can then fill out a single form to send a message. Sometimes you’ll need to choose topics, depending on what’s on the various Congressional contact forms. They even remind you to be polite and concise. This is a really simple tool that clears up what can be a convoluted process.
What’s Good: Easy way to find and contact your Congressional representatives.
What Sucks: Could use city and state level governments as well.
Buy it?: If you’re looking for an easy way to send an email to Congress, Democracy.io is a one stop tool.
FISH – Mac
My day job is a Windows admin, so I’m a bit spoiled by how much attention has been given to Powershell. It’s given Windows a shell that gives BASH a run for its money, and its a lot easier to learn. On the other hand, I prefer working on my Mac. FISH shell gives BASH most of those features, and act as a starter kit for shell scripting on the Mac.
Unless there is a big change to OS X’s development, I don’t think that the Terminal is going to get much attention. FISH an be installed in a few different ways. The first is a stand alone app. You can also install it via homebrew, or with a script that install it to /usr/local/ and use it from the normal Terminal app.
What’s Good: Easy way to learn your way around the terminal and simpler shell scripting.
What Sucks: May make it difficult to make your scripts portable to systems without FISH.
Buy it?: If you’re looking to get your foot in the door as a command line warrior, try FISH. You can download it for free.
Patterns – Mac
Regular Expressions are a part of coding that can be maddening. Even when you understand what you’re doing, you can spend a lot of time with simple trial and error. Patterns makes this process easier, giving you a working area to write your expressions. You can then input some text to test your matches.
What’s Good: Easy way to work on your regular expressions.
What Sucks: Help guide is not enabled automatically.
Buy it?: If you are looking for a way to work with regular expressions without having to constantly run your code, check out Patterns. Download it on the App Store for $2.99.
Move to Apple Music – Mac
I have been working to get my Spotify playlists into Apple music. I had featured an app, STAMP, that allowed you to move your saved tracks from Spotify to Apple Music. It required a bit of legwork to get your playlists recreated. (There was an update to that app released this week adding this functionality, but I haven’t tested it yet.) Move to Apple Music adds the ability to export your playlists and import them with a lot less work, and no external apps.
This still isn’t a one click process, you’re going to have to set aside a bit of time. I set up the process on a Thursday night, and it took around 48 hours for it to import the couple of dozen playlists from Spotify into Apple Music. After that it dumped text files of all of my playlists into a folder, and I had to import them one by one.
I had to then clean up some of the song choices that they made, as they chose live or re-recorded versions over the original. Best I could tell, this was an issue with music that already existed in my library. If there wasn’t another version it ended up just skipping over it altogether. However, after another few hours I had most of my mixes in Apple Music ready to go. I will not that I did this on my laptop, which doesn’t have my library local, so I am unsure of how that will behave.
What’s Good: Easy way to migrate your music from Spotify or Rdio to Apple Music.
What Sucks: Still a somewhat manual process, some issues with how Apple Music responds to tracks you already have in your library.
Buy it?: If you’re still looking to move your library to Apple Music, check this app out. Download Move to Apple Music for $4.99.