"It’s kind of like the Garage Band of coding." – Wired

"Codea for iPad is a super slick way to write and run programs on your iPad." – Gizmodo

Codea lets you create games and simulations — or just about any visual idea you have. Turn your thoughts into interactive creations that make use of iPad features like Multi-Touch and the accelerometer.

We think Codea is the most beautiful code editor you'll use, and it's easy. Codea is designed to let you touch your code. Want to change a color, or an image? Tapping will bring up visual editors that let you choose exactly what you want.

Codea is built on the Lua programming language. A simple, elegant language that doesn't rely too much on symbols — a perfect match for iPad.

Here's how you use it: type your code. Press play to watch it run. Interact with it. Get creative.


• A fully featured 2D and 3D renderer
• Lots of great example projects to learn from, including games
• Touch your code: tap colors, images and sounds to adjust them
• Export your finished projects to Xcode to produce real apps
• Complete in-line reference documentation accessible from keyboard
• Intelligent syntax highlighting and auto-completing code editor
• Import your own assets from Dropbox
• Full 2D and 3D physics engines for complex motion
• Add parameters so you can tweak variables at runtime
• Interact with accelerometer and multi-touch on your device
• Generate retro-game sound effects
• GLSL Shader Language support with live shader editor
• Bluetooth keyboard support and keyboard shortcuts
• Air Code: code live from your PC using WiFi
• Much, much more


• Join the forums at to ask questions, share ideas and get help when you need it

• If you need help or wish to get in contact with us, please use the support link on this page

What’s New

Version 3.3.1

+ Find button / Cmd+F focuses the find field
+ Console output shows an approximate (+) indicator

+ Improves stability of code editor
+ Fixes context menu when used on projects on main screen while filter is active
+ Disable smart quotes and dashes on find/replace fields
+ Scope formatting now correctly accounts for multi-line strings and comments containing scope-defining keywords

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

JoeGrass ,

Very impressive

Overall I’m glad I finally took the plunge - I was sceptical whether I could really produce anything without a learning curve, but in just 6 evenings (about 12 hours) I picked up enough Lua to write a reasonable “Dots” clone, including animated transitions, a pause menu and high score. This included a rewrite when I realised I wasn’t handling touch events properly, and tweaking the UI so that it works in both landscape and portrait orientations (something that the real Dots game doesn’t do).

So, creating a simple game was a relatively easy. Getting it to build back to my devices hit a snag or two. After exporting the project into Xcode and sorting out the provisioning profile, I got an error. I contacted the devs via Facebook and they responded the same day, providing a fix. The fix got me a bit further, but with another issue. I contacted the devs again and they provided another fix. These two responses took two days presumably because of time zone differences, but I pretty much got there - the Xcode iPhone and iPad simulators don’t work with Codea apps, but that isn’t a major hardship.

A nice bonus is that once you’ve got your game/app in Xcode you can edit the classes directly there, which can be helpful when debugging.

The app has lots of documentation built right in, but I can see why a novice coder would struggle. Something showing the process of going from nothing to one of the demo games would help.

Developer Response ,

Thank you for your wonderfully detailed review!

We are working hard on a new version of Codea, but your suggestion for samples projects showing some more process is a great one and something we will keep in mind for future samples

megapuppy ,

Interesting and unique app - with tons of future potential!

Well, I downloaded this simply out of curiosity and I was pleasantly surprised by the level of thought and design that's gone into it. The idea of having an IDE (admittedly simple) running on iPad is a very interesting first step and makes me wonder where things like this might go in the next few years, as ARM hardware and iOS mature.

One thing I think is really missing here are some good tutorials (ideally interactive ones) for people who've never coded before. It really has the potential to be an incredible educational tool. But right now, it's a bit overwhelming for newcomers, who may not have ever encountered basic programming concepts before.

There's also no way to share projects with other users as far as I can tell. Hopefully both these issues (tutorials and sharing) can be tackled soon, as I think there's the start of something amazing here.


Amazing, Simple and Powerful

I have seen the games people have made with this and they are truly amazing. The UI is extremely user friendly and if you ever get stuck or have a question you can go to the forums and you can be certain at least one person answers it.

If you have no previous experience with lua it has a very helpful reference manual which will get you started and will hopefully be enough for you to get going with lua and make your first game. I have just started learning lua with nothing but this app and so far so good.

I definitely recommend for anyone looking to make games on their iPad and publish to the App Store.

Developer Response ,

Thanks! For a guy that isn't happy we're glad you're happy :)

App Privacy

The developer, Two Lives Left, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary based on, for example, the features you use or your age. Learn More


  • Family Sharing

    Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.

More By This Developer

You May Also Like