How to Code with an Apple Device for Under $500
Apple products aren't known to be affordable, and coding is considered a job for privileged people. It's time to make coding more accessible.
But I Don't Know How to Code
So you clicked on this post because you're curious about coding, but you don't quite know how to start. Before you read this article, I suggest you read An Intro to Ruby, a Newbie-Friendly Programming Language and, afterward, How to Get a Job as a Web Developer to put your learning into good use.
You might be thinking that coding with an iPad has too many restrictions and that you won't be able to program properly. However, with the many apps now available for iOS and the constant rise of cloud computing, you've picked a great time to be a web developer or software engineer on a budget. The cost of an iPad starts at $329. And if $329 still sounds like a lot of money, then the next tips should really help you.
Download the Quadpay App and Shop Online at Apple
With Quadpay, you can break up your iPad purchase into four interest-free payments. Yes, you read that right. You will pay zero interest. If you'd rather pay everything upfront at a discount, then you have two other options available.
Deliver Food for Postmates for an Exclusive Invite to the Apple Employee Purchase Program
I know becoming a courier for Postmates is probably the last thing that comes to mind when thinking of a way to buy affordable Apple products, but yet here you are. One of the pros of delivering food for Postmates is that if you deliver a minimum of 10 orders per month, then you get access to Perkspot for Postmates. This program gives you great discounts for anything from cars to amusement parks. It also grants you access to the Apple Employee Purchase Program.
Through this program, you can buy an iPad for $322 versus $329. Sure, $7.00 doesn't seem like much if you're not poor or broke, but that could mean a whole meal for someone with a lower income. Also, keep in mind, that if you use your iPad for your freelance business, then the total cost of the iPad becomes a write-off, aka tax-free money. In total, that's over $300 in savings.
If you're in LA, then please use my code to sign up to be a Postmates courier: FL-MILCAHO
Purchase a Refurbished iPad for a Discounted iPad
You won't get the latest model this way, and you're limited to what's currently in Apple's refurbished stock, but it's a great way to save $60 – $250, depending on the iPad model. Also, the cool thing about this option is that you can use Quadpay to purchase your refurbished iPad in four installments.
You'll Need a Bluetooth Keyboard for Your iPad
While it's not the cheapest keyboard available, Brydge offers a durable, beautiful keyboard, with a 1-year warranty and great customer service. My wife's gotten her Brydge keyboard replaced three times for free! The first time was due to a squeaky key and the last time was because the keyboard stopped taking a charge. Delivery was fast with each replacement.
Extra savings tip: Download the Rakuten browser extension to receive cash back! At the moment this article was written, Rakuten was offering 2.5% cash back for Brydge keyboards. That's a $3.25 discount off the Brydge 10.2 model. Click here to sign up for Rakuten, and you'll get $10 after you spend $25.
Use High Quality Development iOS Apps
The following web and native apps have been vetted by coders who have shared their iPad development environments and iOS apps on YouTube or written in-depth articles outlining how to code on an iPad.
- For those who code with languages other than JS, repl.it is a great alternative. Some popular languages that are included are Python, Ruby, Java, and Go, and they even have a couple testing languages such as Jest.
- Blink Shell is a Mosh (mobile shell) and SSH terminal for iOS. You can use Blink to connect to a containerized application on Digital Ocean.
- Digital Ocean, like Google Cloud Platform, is a service that allows you to develop on the cloud. Since you can't store files on iPads like you would on a Macbook, cloud services allow iPad users to build web apps and databases remotely. This will save space on your iPad for your apps, photos, music, etc.
Finally, Do Your Research
While all these tools are available, spend time in investigating whether this solution is truly beneficial for you. There are limitations to developing on an iPad, and, especially if you are used to coding on a computer, you may discover that saving up for a laptop is the better solution for you in the long run. In the end, honoring your unique budget and goals will be the ultimate deciding factors.