I just discovered a versatile code (and text) editor for iOS called Kodex. It is a free app with some pretty cool features:

  • tight integration with the Files app
  • syntax highlighting for numerous languages (including Markdown)
  • multiple tabbed interface
  • a large assortment of hardware keyboard shortcuts, which you can customize the key bindings for
  • multiple cursor support (it’s more rudimentary than Sublime Text’s, which works with “next word” selection and the mouse, but it’s a desktop-only app)
  • find/replace
  • find/replace with regEx
  • document minimap
  • a large assortment of themes and color schemes

As nice as iOS is for text editing, especially if you have a hardware keyboard, it is hard to not see just how rudimentary most of its text editors are. There certainly is nothing like BBEdit or Sublime Text available on the platform (though Kodex is definitely aiming at Sublime Text, in its functionality).

I can’t even think of any iOS text editor, other than Kodex (which I just discovered), that supports working with documents in multiple tabs. (Apple should really just make a Safari-like tab bar controller a standard component. I know I would use it in my apps.) Even features that are common on the desktop, like find and replace, have only become common on iOS in the past year or so.

The best text editors on the platform (such as Drafts) are made with MarkDown and automation in mind, which is cool. But they are simplistic compared to what is available on the desktop. I would love it if something as fast and versatile as Sublime Text was released on iOS. I would probably pay a lot of money for it, too.