Many web designers and developers live the dream of location-independent work, and they regularly create designs and program from their desk at home or completely without an office workstation. In order to make the most of this privilege – working wherever you happen to be at the time – we would like to present our top 12 apps for mobile web workers.
Our top 12 apps for web designers and web developers
For Mac users
MAMP (free of charge)
MAMP stands for Mac, Apache, MySQL, PHP – and the name speaks for itself. With just a few mouse clicks, the entire range of features provided by a full web server – including Apache, PHP and MySQL – can be available on your Mac OS X at home. MAMP is free of charge and its installation will not affect any existing Apache installation already running on your OS X, and it neither starts a script nor changes any settings. If MAMP is no longer required, it is sufficient to simply delete the MAMP folder and everything returns to its original status.
If you design or program for the web, then Espresso is the turbo button for your daily workflow: it is a high-grade app for effectively creating HTML or CSS while retaining clear structuring of the source code. Its outstanding features are the live preview, the integrated FTP program and the snippet function that is integrated as standard. We also find “Quick Publish” highly useful, which is used to automatically upload a file to the server whenever it is saved after changes have been made.
Coda is a one-window web development software and – as suggested by the somewhat awkward description – Coda prevents the user from opening too many windows at the same time while working (we’re all familiar with this situation: text editor, FTP program, browser, CSS editor…) and stops everything from becoming confusing. Coda combines all aspects of web development in one interface and offers many features such as syntax highlighting for popular web languages (XHTML, CSS, PHP, Ruby and others), integrated (S)FTP client in a side bar, outlining for classes and HTML structures and also autocomplete for the most common languages. One useful peculiarity is “live collaboration”, with which it is possible to work on a code at the same time as other developers.
Querious is a MySQL database management application that enables easy management of MySQL databases directly from the user’s desktop. Querious allows databases to be simply and effectively examined, searched, edited, imported, exported and structured. And the best thing is that Querious is a native Mac application, which means that it works as you would expect it to and in the manner to which you are accustomed as a Mac user.
For iPhone users
Analytics App ($5.99)
Every web developer who wishes to keep a constant eye on their Google Analytics account will find this app essential: Analytics App links the iPhone with the Google Analytics account and displays the tracked data. It also supports Google Adsense. Overall, the statistics are extremely detailed and the user interface is comprehensible and appealing.
This app is slightly more recent than Analytics App, but it essentially provides the same services. The advantage of Ego over Analytics App is that it also supports Twitter, Feedburner, Mint, Google Analytics, Google PageRank and several others. The information is not quite as detailed as on Analytics App, but page hits, followers, the latest tweets, subscribers and page ranks are displayed quickly and easily. Another feature worth mentioning is the app’s clearly structured user interface. In summary: this is a great supplement to Analytics App and is a must for every web developer’s iPhone!
WhatTheFont (free of charge)
You’re standing in front of the magazine shelves, leafing through the latest editions – and there it is: an amazingly well-designed font, absolutely perfect for your latest project. But what is its name? WhatTheFont will tell you: all you need to do is take a photo with your iPhone and the app provides you with the name of the font. Well, then: Happy font hunting!
For Android users
Silver Edit (€2.49)
Silver Edit is a fully functional HTML editor that can be used to create and process all common web documents. HTML, CSS, PHP – what more could you want? Oh, yes: once created, the files can be stored on your smart phone or forwarded to your own email inbox. An integrated FTP manager (AndFTP) is naturally also included in order to upload the files directly onto the server.
AndFTP (free of charge)
Do you need to access your web server via your Android smart phone? Then AndFTP is the right app for you! It is a fully functional FTP client with all the current features: up- and download, change authorizations, create folders, etc. It is very simple to use, and AndFTP also supports the secure protocols SFTP and FTPS. A practical feature is that the app links up with the Android context menu. This enables images, for example, to be directly uploaded from the media library.
View Web Source (free of charge)
If you are surfing the mobile web and find something that requires a closer “web developer look”, try the View Web Source App. The application loads the complete source code of any website in a text editor where comments or changes can be inserted and where it can be attached to an email via copy/paste.
Mindjet for Android (free of charge)
As a web designer, your mind is always full of good ideas, regardless of where you happen to be. And so Mindjet is your perfect companion: this app allows ideas, notes and information to be written quickly and clearly in a mind map. It’s useful for spontaneous brainstorming or simply for productive train journeys on your way home.
Dropbox (free of charge)
Dropbox gives you 2 GB free storage and – provided you have an Internet connection – allows you to keep your most important data with you at all times. You can also bid farewell to email attachments because the contents of specified Dropbox folders can be made accessible to other Dropbox users. Dropbox can be used on all equipment and operating systems.
Which of these apps do you already use? Do you have any tips for other useful applications? We look forward to receiving your ideas!