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4 Android Apps To Help You Learn, Study, or Practice Programming Languages

bmweygant profile image Brandon Weygant ・4 min read

Learning a new programming language, or expanding your knowledge of an existing one, is a very time-consuming task that requires much more than reading a few blogs. It requires tons of time and lots of practice. The problem with this in today's world is we are on the go now more than ever before and don't always have our fully-loaded action-packed computer at hand (or at least a reliable wi-fi connection if needed) to get the needed time & practice in. Instead, we rely on our phones more than ever, and fortunately there lots of great apps available to use on the Android platform for all your coding on the go needs!

Enki: Learn data science, coding, tech skills

Is it anti-climactic to list my favorite app first? Enki has lots of free material to dive in on many of the most popular languages & frameworks including JavaScript, Java, Python, React, and even Docker. Usually, all but the final tier of lessons are free, with the final tier requiring an upgrade to Enki Pro ($4.99/month or $35.99/yearly). Easy to navigate, relatively small readme's, and even comprehensive test barriers to make sure you are learning and not just browsing - Enki is easily the best app in my opinion for both learning new languages and expanding on your current capabilities with familiar ones.

My sole dislike about Enki is a common theme among coding phone apps: the multiple-choice fill-in the blank style of learning it applies. It is very accessible learning style for true coding novices but does little in itself to embed lessons until you can practice it more in depth.

You can check out Enki on Google Play here

Datacamp

Datacamp is an app that specializes in Data Science languages, specifically Python, R, & SQL. They offer a free version, but it is very limited relative to a lot of other alternatives available, so this is an app for people who are serious about a deep dive into data science portion of programming. My favorite thing about Datacamp is, unlike many other apps, they have a very clear focus on a small number of languages, rather than attempting to be an all-encompassing coding app.

Thinking of Datacamp as more of a light, self-paced bootcamp rather than an android app will ease the burden of the price. When you subscribe to the premium version($33.25/monthly) you gain access to 200+ course curriculum, instructors, a slack channel, and more including career tracks to guide what lessons you need. The price viewed as a phone app seems high, but check out Datacamp course reviews on course report and it becomes a relatively inexpensive alternative to other bootcamps.

Lastly, Datacamp actually lets you type in your code, even in the free version, rather than multiple choice on blanks in pre-written code. And it comes with several videos sprinkled throughout the courses, a nice change of pace from reading everything which leads to faster burnout in my opinion.

You can check out Datacamp on Google Play here

Grasshopper

Grasshopper makes no case for advanced users, instead targets beginners, specifically younger ones. It has a unique approach, relying heavily on visual aids to help guide the user through the coding journey. As such, I had little use for this particular app myself, but felt it was worth a mention as I would have found this app to be a great tool if I was much younger. As a parent now, this app would be a welcome replacement for all those games and youtube videos my child currently wastes his time on.

Grasshopper also receives points for being JavaScript focused, rather than try to bombard the target audience with multiple languages.

You can check out Grasshopper on Google Play here

DCoder

While apps like Enki are great, they are missing a key element in teaching programming properly, compiling and running written code. Enter DCoder, a powerful compiler that lets you both write and run programs on your phone in dozens of supported languages. This is exactly the hands-on experience a lot of coding apps lack, being largely readme's and multiple-choice fill in the blank style learning tools. Nothing embeds new concepts and lessons better than writing your own functions and programs and testing them out yourself, and that's exactly what DCoder does. Best yet, it's cloud-based compilers allow fast compiling no matter your device quality.

The free version does have ads, but they have not been intrusive ads in my experience and can be exited with a simple click of the 'x' button. No video ads either in my experience making it surprisingly bearable. The other downside to the free version is the limited number of files you can store in the program - 30 for the free version. All levels of paid plans include no ads, infinite compiles, & Editor themes. The differences are in the number of files you can store (from 30 to up to 500). They aren't very clear if there is or what is the compile limit for the free version.

You can check out DCoder on Google Play here

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