Sure, everyone knows the iPhone is a great way to surf the web on the go. But who knew it could become the go-to mobile device for the web developer?
Look, it’s not going to become the way developers create new sites from scratch (yet, anyway). But a lot of iPhone apps can make it easier to fix and manage things on the fly. If you happen to notice something that’s not quite what it should be or a friend gives you a shout out when you’re nowhere near your laptop, your iPhone can provide quite a manageable development environment.
The following are the best apps available right now for the iPhone for ftp, remote control and access, file editing and network troubleshooting.
Continue reading for more…
‚Ä¢ Jaadu, $24.99 in the iTunes store (all updates are free)
We’ve tested and used both apps, however, and Jaadu is worth every penny. You can use it to control any application on your Mac or PC or access any file on your computer from anywhere. And because VNC apps are not an extremely secure protocol, it supports VPN-based encryption for an extra layer of safety. The interfaces are simple and are pretty simple to set up.
iSSH ‚Äì SSH Console by Zinger-Soft, $4.99
SSH by ThroughPut Inc., $3.99
TouchTerm: SSH Terminal Console by jbrink.net, free
These will give you secure, remote access to log onto your computer, and can also help make your VNC connection more secure, by logging in through it. Keep in mind that these are SSH clients only, and so you can’t transfer files through it easily (not a problem for command line gurus). You can use any of these via Wi-Fi, EDGE or 3G, and special keys, including the arrows, CTRL, ESC and Tab all are usable.
Mocha Telnet by MochaSoft, $5.99
If you want to try it out before buying, you can check out:
Mocha Telnet Lite by MochaSoft, free
A great choice to provide access to Linux or Mac OS X Telnet servers. Both versions allow you to run applications in a VT220 Terminal window, has a popup keyboard and zoom and scroll, as well as landscape mode and customizable colors. The paid version has support for CTRL keys, text Macro support, four more keyboards and 20 host configs.
FTP On The Go by Headlight Software, $9.99
Download files to the built-in text editor, make edits, upload the changes to the server. You can also view MS Office files and PDF documents and upload photos to your server that you’ve shot with your iPhone. You can bookmark all your sites and it has a master password as an extra layer of protection for your server logins. You can even check the files on one iPhone from another iPhone.
Network Ping by MochaSoft, $3.99
You can try the free ‚Äúlite‚Äù version first to see if it’s what you need:
The tool’s useful for debugging problems on a LAN. The full version enables you to keep a list of 400 IP addresses and Telnet to any port. Both versions give you a simple Telnet console for access to a router or UNIX server. They display the iPhone IP address and has Traceroute, to figure out the route packets have taken across an IP network.
File Transfer from PC to iPhone:
Air Sharing by Avatron Software, $4.99
Basically acts like a wireless drive for a Mac-, Windows- or Linux-based computer, which you can use to view and store documents in many formats ‚Äì iWork, MS Office, Web archive, HTML, PDF, RTF, RTFD, plain text, source code and standard iPhone formats for movies, audio and images. It has a ‚ÄúFinder‚Äù-like file browser and is compatible with Mac OS X (Tiger and Leopard), Windows (XP and Vista), Linux (GNOME and KDE) and all web browsers.
On jailbroken phones you can just FTP your files in, this is the option we prefer.
As noted above, FTP On The Go has a built-in text editor
But, if you’re a PHP developer, check out this one:
Mides IDE by Owensperformance, $9.99
Use it to build PHP-based web apps via your iPhone. It handles .php, .htm, .html, .xml, .js, .erb, .jsp and .css, can play media files and has an integrated FTP client. It does not have a built-in php interpreter, however.
Because Apple doesn’t allow third-party iPhone apps to run simultaneously, you might want to get Backgrounder, so you can flip back and forth between different development apps and keep their state while switching.
In order to use Backgrounder, you may just want to jailbreak your iPhone (here’s 10 other reasons to jailbreak). And if you have your laptop, but not available WiFi, you’ll want to get PDAnet, which is available only for jailbroken iPhones
If you were to purchase the most expensive app in each of these options, you’d spend $60.94, which isn’t that bad for the ability to have full web development ability from, say, your car. Even if you don’t think you’ll need all of them, it seems better to have all the apps already installed and configured in order to take care of any issues as they arise.
The lack of cut and paste on the iPhone is a bummer, but if you need to remember a string of text or code, you can always have ‚Äì gasp! – a notepad and pen nearby to jot ’em down. if you are desperate for copy and paste make sure to install Clippy (jailbroken phones only)
At the very least, you can impress your friends and coworkers when you whip out your iPhone and change the coding in your site’s sidebar while you’re out having lunch.
Let us know if you know of any better apps or if you’ve found any other ways to manage your emergency development using your iPhone.