There are many developer tools for iOS already in the App Store. Apple relaxed the app review guidelines, allowing apps that download and run code to be released in the App Store, the only limitation being that the app must make the code visible to the user and have an educational purpose. Play.js is a new app that does just that.

Update 3/6: The developer has told 9to5Mac that Apple requested some changes to the app, but it will fortunately not be pulled from the App Store.

The app was released last Friday in the App Store. The main feature of the app is the ability to use its IDE to write Node.js or React applications that can be run in the app’s own environment. But the most interesting aspect of this app is how it implements a Mac-like experience on iPad, complete with icons on the desktop, different apps, window management, and even a menu bar.

Here’s the full description:

play.js brings the power of React Native and Node.js to your iOS device.

Finally you can use your iPhone or iPad to develop fast and reliably scripts and applications with a full fledge code editor that features code autocompletion, multi-file projects, documentation and much more.

Install play.js now and start hacking and sharing.

What’s also interesting about Play.js is that it went through app review with no rejection, but Apple’s guidelines explicitly mention that “Apps that create alternate desktop/home screen environments or simulate multi-app widget experiences will be rejected”.

Regardless of Apple’s guidelines, this is an impressive app and you can get it from the App Store for just $1.99.


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