Three Months of Development on an iPad!

November 01, 2019

For over three months, I wrote (JavaScript) code from my iPad every day. There was one exception when I had to attend a funeral. There are a few gaps on my GitHub profile from when I forgot to push code, or lost track of time in and pushed after midnight. This post is an update after a few more months of consistent usage.

As I’ve outlined before, my setup is simple. I use DigitalOcean and connect to my server with Blink. Once connected, I tmux and vim - old habits die hard. During this time, I’ve encountered a few minor annoyances, and I’ll share them here.

IME change

I map the escape key to capslock in Blink through Settings -> Keyboard -> Special Keys -> Caps as Esc. Most of the time, everything works fine, but I have Japanese and Emoji keyboards enabled, so sometimes this changes the input mode. To fix this unwanted behavior, I turned off General -> Keyboard -> Hardware Keyboard -> Switch Languages using Caps Lock.

Random Zooming

Blink randomly zoom in, just a little bit, just enough to seem off. I’m using a setting of 16px for my font, which might not be the default font size for Blink. It seems to correlate with app switching, or creating a new session. So I need to hit [Command] + [=] whenever I open Blink. When there are phantom zoomed sessions, I need to kill all mosh sessions and reconnect.

Lagging Input

Input lags a little. Mosh smooths it out and it’s only an issue when I’m in vim, and I press [esc]:w[return] then see this: vim tmux blink input lag 😢😢😢😢

The ability to write code on an iPad is improving, and while I find myself only reaching for my laptop when I need react/redux dev tools or other advanced debugging tools, the overall experience is enjoyable.