I have a pretty long commute to work and own an android phone. I figure it would be nice to do some simple programming on the way. I'm not picky on which language to code on. I usually have an internet connection on the train.

I've been looking through the android market but haven't found any apps that offer a "development environment" or an editor with a compiler. Is any development ON the Android possible? Does an app for this exist?

  • 2
    This question will become a lot more relevant as more powerful and cheaper Android devices come out.
    – notlesh
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 20:07

10 Answers 10


Two years on: I use AIDE, their brief summary of features states:

Edit-compile-run cycle:

  • Create a sample App with a single click
  • Run your App with a single click
  • No root access required
  • Incremental compilation for fast build times
  • Uses Eclipse .classpath project format for compatibility
  • Integrated LogCat viewer

Real-time error checking:

  • Real time error analyis throughout the whole project as you type
  • Automatic Quick-Fixes for many errors


  • Rename
  • Inline variable
  • Introduce variable
  • Extract method


  • Code formatter
  • Organize imports
  • Out-comment code
  • Create setters/getters/constructors from fields

Code navigation:

  • Goto defintion
  • Find usages
  • Goto symbol
  • Goto class


  • Very fast editor even with large files
  • Code completion for Java and Android XML
  • Android online help directly from the code
  • Syntax highlighting for Java and XML
  • Unlimited Undo/Redo
  • Pinch zoom
  • Smart expand selection
  • Keyboard support with configurable keybindings
  • UI optimized for small screens to show as much code/content as possible


  • Built-in file manager with the most common features: Rename, delete, create file or folder
  • Dropbox integration
  • Git integration with Commit/Dicard/Push/Pull and SSH support.

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  • 1
    the link to AIDE is android-ide.com, unfortunately I cannot suggest edits for some reason Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 7:33
  • @jay you're welcome. do you still use AIDE? Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 10:00
  • 2
    no, my lenovo laptop has better battery now than my old android tab :(
    – Jay Wick
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 22:12

If you do scripting languages at all, check out SL4a (Scripting Layer For Android). It gives you access to the android API in each language - Python, Perl, JRuby, Lua, BeanShell, JavaScript, Tcl, and shell.

It comes with its own basic editor, but you can specify a different editor if you have others installed - I've used the Jota text editor with it.

Get SL4A here: http://code.google.com/p/android-scripting/

I've build a few basic interactive android apps with this setup, and various console-only scripts. You should be able to configure it to store the files in dropbox or similar to get auto-syncing too.


If you want to get all meta, there's Terminal IDE, a full Java / HTML / Android development environment that runs on Android.


I have an app called C# To Go in the Android market that provides a basic C# REPL. It's certainly not meant to be a real development environment, but does allow you to play around with the language and compile things on the fly.


Why not give Ruboto IRB (pulled from Play Store) Ruboto-IRB on GitHub a go.

From the app description:

Interactive Ruby running on Android. Edit, save, and run scripts on the phone. Great for learning, prototyping, and small apps. Ruboto IRB taps the power of JRuby to open up the Android API.

  • How is that different than SL4A?
    – NoBugs
    Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 5:57
  • Not availlable with your link
    – kouty
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 14:19
  • @kouty thanks for the information. Link is now updated.
    – tidbeck
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 14:48

I know you're looking for programming apps actually on the phone, so this might not be overly helpful. I found an app called Splashtop Remote Desktop that with a WiFi connection, you can control your computer at home. I've tried it for reading documents and playing around. However; I think it could be used to write code using whatever utility you have at home.


There is retro language from Charles Childers and clojure REPL from sattvik software, although these are somewhat more exotic than the standard languages.


Aloha Editor runs within your browser. But I suppose it will not run in every Android browser, Firefox mobile seems most advanced when it comes to HTML5.


And if you are looking for a web development solution for e.g. PHP, you might want to take a look at PHP programming app with hosting?: PAW Server for Android -- amongst others -- offers you a web server with support for PHP (via a plugin), and comments in the linked question also mention some nice programming editors.


Check out - Android Web Developer. I am developer of this application.

It is developed special for web developers.


  • Support all major web languages and formats: PHP, JavaScript, CSS,
  • A lot of ways to reach your project ( FTP, FTPS, SFTP, WEBDav and growing)
  • Code highlighting
  • Code completion
  • Hardware keyboard support (e.g hotkeys)
  • Error checking
  • Code beautifying
  • Tablet ready UI
  • Line numbering
  • Quick preview of your page
  • Highlighting the current line
  • Search and replace with regular expressions
  • Unlimited Undo/redo
  • Full screen mode
  • Rename/create/delete/copy-paste files inside you project

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