Last year we looked at the best code editors for the iPad. At the time, there weren’t many competitors on Android.

That’s changed, and there are now at least two that are particularly well suited for programming on the go.


Touchqode is the most complete code editor in the Android market. It features syntax highlighting for Java, HTML, JavaScript, Python, C++, C#, Ruby and PHP, and a way to upload code to have it compiled on another server. It also supports FTP and SFTP for remote editing. All these features are available in the free version, I’m not even sure what’s added in the pro version (I couldn’t figure out a way to turn on line numbering, so maybe that’s it).

Touchqode comes with its own optional keyboard that makes it quicker to add characters commonly used in programming (see the screenshot above). It’s a nice idea, but it hides all other characters, which was a pain when logging into my FTP server. I think switching back and forth between the custom code keyboard and other keyboards would get old after a while, but if you need code editing on an Android device, it may well be worth it.

Android Web Editor

Android Web Editor takes a different approach: instead of a specialized keyboard, it floats commons symbols on the screen so you can just touch them when you need them (you can see it at the bottom of the screenshot above).

Like Touchqcode it offers FTP support, Android Web Editor supports fewer languages than Touchqode (only HTML, JavaScript and PHP), has wonky syntax highlighting (it works, but not that well) and is pretty crippled in the free version (you can’t save a remote file). But I like the interface better, and at only $3 it’s not that big a deal to register. Also, it has line numbers.

If you only need to edit HTML, JavaScript and PHP this is worth a look.