capsule review

Codosaurus 1.3 for iPhone and iPad

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Codosaurus

When I first looked at Codosaurus about five months ago, I though the iPad and iPhone code editor was functional, though it seemed like an unfinished product. An update arrived in the App Store earlier this month—the first in nearly year—so I downloaded version 1.3 eager to give Codosaurus another try. It appears that this new version has taken some baby steps forward and, unfortunately, one huge step backward.

On the somewhat positive side, the new version addresses a few of my previous gripes. For instance, the app now supports server connections via SFTP which is a big improvement for my needs. Additionally, the app now provides syntax highlighting and line numbers. But, according to the release notes, those options are only available with “small” files. Unfortunately, that’s not very helpful since large files are where those features are needed the most.

Slender Screen: Use an external keyboard while running Codosaurus 1.3 on your iPad, and the app will leave a blank space on the screen where the onscreen keyboard used to be. Users who rely on the onscreen keyboard won’t notice this bug, but for others, it does eat into your screen real estate.

What’s most disappointing is a huge bug that was introduced in the 1.3 release. When using an external keyboard on the iPad, a blank area remains on the screen where the onscreen keyboard would ordinarily appear. While that won’t really affect users who rely on the onscreen keyboard, I found that it cuts into the extra space I’ve grown accustomed to, making Codosaurus difficult to use for me. When I asked about the flaw, the developer replied quickly, saying that a fix is in the works. Here’s hoping that this update makes its way to the app store faster than the last one.

Looking past the keyboard bug and the odd line number and syntax highlighting limitations, the improvements made to Codosaurus are welcome, but the app still feels like a work-in-progress. With competition heating up in this category (the recent release of Panic Software’s Diet Coda as the latest example), Codosaurus needs to get itself into shape quickly if it wants to be a contender.

[Brian Beam is a software designer and partner with web development firm BOLD Internet Solutions, living somewhere near Kansas City.]

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Codosaurus

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