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Emacs on an iPad

rcarmo
103
83
13d
2
ANDSCHWA.COM

Comments

timlod 13d
I've done this as well in the past - worked pretty well with Blink (and a bluetooth Thinkpad keyboard)! Ultimately I missed some functionality, mostly viewing images, which are essential to my workflow, and not available in the terminal. Unfortunately at the time there was no remote desktop tool available for iOS (not sure if one exists now) which would be able to display a GUI client on the iPad through X11 forwarding.
memalign 12d
It might be possible to run Emacs directly on iPad using iSH.

I run vim this way and love it.

saagarjha 12d
> So first off, you cannot run Emacs directly

Hmm, my device disagrees:

  File Edit Options Buffers Tools C Help          
  #include <stdio.h>
  
  int main() {
      printf("Hello, world!\n");
  }















  -UUU:**--F1  test.c         All L5     (C/*l Abb
jms703 12d
Author should consider replacing port forwarding with Tailscale.
jdswain 12d
I tried using Blink shell for a while and it was ok, but when my iPad screen broke I got a Thinkpad X280 as a replacement. For emacs, programming and a lot of other things it's way better. I've just spent some time in KiCAD this evening, I couldn't do that on an iPad. Plus if something breaks it's way easier to get parts, a new screen is under $100 and I can install it myself without any tools.
sgt 12d
It's really impressive what an iPad can do. But this setup requires you to always have a connection, and the author said that he had replaced his laptop with an iPad completely. What do you do if you're offline (or if reception is bad)?
meitham 12d
>>> So first off, you cannot run Emacs directly on an iPad as an app, but can certainly access something else which is running it In comparison, I have been running Vim on iDevices (as native app) for over 7 years. Vim design of using letters insteads of Chords proved useful in the simple onscreen keyboards.
roboben 12d
Is it possible to port Emacs to iOS? Did anyone try this?
FrostKiwi 12d
No way, the timing! Just received a company iPhone and iPad this month for internal work. Never had an Apple device before, so really happy someone tried this. I have meticulously maintained my .emacs to work in a TTY environment, with custom themes dependent on whether it's GUI emacs or not. (for buffer transparency to work properly) It's finally paying off.

Really happy someone figured this out!

anotheryou 12d
Should any android people stroll by: the Termux app has a native emacs package, it even gobbled up spacemacs for me. I never really used it though because I don't have a tablet.

For org only users on ios: beorg is soo good. Miss it on android very much.

carlycue 12d
The M1 on the Mac unintentionally killed iPad as laptop replacement for a lot of people.

Around 2015-2019, Macs were terrible. They overheated, theottled and had loud fans. At the same time, the iPad Pro was dead silent, lighter, faster and had better battery life.

Today, the M1 MacBook Air gets all those goodies and you get a nice keyboard and a capable OS. The battery life is also twice as long as an iPad Pro.

Apple needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat to pull the iPad ahead again.

freetanga 12d
This has been done for a while. I recommend MOSH (ssh over UDP) for a better experience
wmwragg 12d
I believe the iSH app[1] can run Emacs without jailbreaking the iPad. I use it a lot, but not for Emacs.

[1] https://github.com/ish-app/ish

jwr 12d
Sadly, this configuration is almost unusable for hard-core Emacs users, because you can't use extended key combinations (Super, Hyper, etc). For people who have been using Emacs for 25 years, being restricted to a narrow TTY is a non-starter.

I am still hoping that someone will develop a native Emacs version (willing to contribute to a bounty for that!).

Tepix 12d
From TFA:

you cannot run Emacs directly on an iPad as an app

minifridge 12d
Title is misleading. Emacs is on a VPS not running natively on ipad
pomatic 12d
I've done this (vps for emacs). My tuppenth worth:

- NoMachine with X works really well, especially over a VPN. Full linux desktop, great scaling and kb support

- Use mosh instead of ssh, especially if connecting over cellular, as it is tolerant of dropped connections

- Like the person who switched to an X230, I followed a similar path finally settling on a Microsoft Surface v7 which was £300 second hand. The hardware is fantastic, with a glorious screen and lovely typecover keyboard. Live in WSL and it could be a linux box. I leave the ipad behind now when I travel.

Having said that, even if it had to be handbuilt against a testflight account, it would be wonderful to have a native emacs app. Seems like the developers of hummingbird eXceed or blink might be clever enough to do that?

Although I went into the purchase knowing about Apple's walled garden, I really do resent the way good hardware has been artificially crippled. It feels like being treated like a child, I should be able to make informed decisions with my own hardware! I won't be buying another ipad unless things change up big time.

Hippocrates 12d
I tried to do the vim on iPad over mosh thing. It was cool, but rarely worked well enough for anything more than a simple tinker-pad. I got it working on airplane wifi which itself was amusing but as far as getting anything done (even leisure-coding) it was total disappointment and frustration.

There are many things I like about it the iPad, particularly the focused modality of single-screen apps (split screen was also too finicky and cramped to be useful). It felt very productive. But make no mistake if you're reading this, an iPad is no substitute for a laptop. Don't waste 1000 bucks like I did to figure that out.

watersb 12d
Termux on my $95 Kindle Fire is more useful than anything I’ve yet encountered on iPadOS simply because of the execrable keyboard options available on the iPad.

There are great prices on wonderful M1 iPads right now, and I love my MacBook Air, so I got this year’s iPad Air.

You must be joking.

After hours of futility, I am forced to accept that Apple still has no API for adding Control Escape arrow keys to keyboard apps.

While I can use the hard coded keyboard option in the great a-Shell app, I can’t customize it. And I can’t use its keyboard in Safari for online Visual Studio Code or Colab notebooks.

With Termux, I set up a keyboard via a simple text config file. Done. And for a general system keyboard, in a pinch I can use a the “Hacker Keyboard” keyboard app. It’s ugly but it works.

Please tell me I’m taking crazy pills and that there’s a keyboard app that solves this.

No, I can’t use a hardware external keyboard in this use case.

- https://termux.dev/en/

- https://holzschu.github.io/a-Shell_iOS/

cdelsolar 12d
This is slightly embarrassing to admit but when I went on my honeymoon I brought my iPad along so that I wouldn’t code. Still, we had enough relaxation time that at some point I just set up a $5 digital ocean machine in Europe and I was able to code just fine with a cool eMacs split screen setup and an external iPad keyboard.