Software developer Tim Cocks (aka foamyguy) was looking for a way to program Adafruit’s Circuit Playground Express using an Android smartphone or tablet while on the go. He found that the OS does not play well with that particular board as it uses an older file format the phone couldn’t recognize. Like any developer worth their salt, Tim made his CircuitPython Editor app to get around that issue.
“Using the Circuit Python Editor application, you can view the output of your code. You can also load, edit, and save the code.py file. Additionally, you can use the application to interact with the REPL (Read, Evaluate, Print, Loop) on your board.”
The latest revision of his app lets you create macros — such as turning the board’s LEDs different colors or generate different patterns that can be edited and saved.
It should be noted that the Circuit Playground Express will draw its power from the Android mobile device, and you will need a USB (A to micro B) and OTG host cable (micro B male to female A) to connect to the board. All of the testing for Tim’s app was done on the Circuit Playground Express, but it may support others as well.
As with any app still in the alpha stage, it may not work on your particular Android device, or worse, it could malfunction and erase or overwrite code on the board, so it would be wise to create backups just in case. Those looking to try out the CircuitPython Editor app can download it directly from Google Play, or Tim’s GitHub page.