Learn to Code on the Go: Best Coding Apps for Beginners

Last Updated: April 25, 2024 4:40 pm
Learn to Code on the Go: Best Coding Apps for Beginners
Best Coding Apps for Beginners

You’ve always wanted to learn to code, but you’re short on time and unsure where to start. Sound familiar? Well, guess what? With the rise of coding apps, learning programming and coding languages has never been more accessible or convenient. These nifty little apps let you learn to code from your phone or tablet whenever and wherever you have a few minutes to spare.

But with so many coding apps, how do you know which ones are worth your time? That’s where we come in. After combing through app stores and putting numerous programming apps through their paces for coding practice, we’ve identified the real standouts for you. Get ready to start your coding journey with these beginner-friendly apps that make learning to code fun and easy!

10 Best Coding Apps for Beginners

So you want to learn how to code but don’t know where to start? I get it. When I first started coding, I was overwhelmed by all the options. Should I take a class? Enroll in a bootcamp? Teach myself with online tutorials.

Then I discovered coding apps, and let me tell you, they were a game-changer. With just my smartphone and a few minutes of spare time each day, I was able to start learning programming basics at my own pace. And the best part? Many of these apps are completely free.

Tynker: Coding for Kids

First, we have Tynker. They offer the largest range of coding courses for all skill levels for kids aged 5–18, covering everything from basic coding to the most popular programming languages like Java, Python, and more.

What excited me most about Tynker was learning philosophy by doing it. With Tynker’s simple interface, kids do not just watch coding videos; they start making their games and apps immediately. For them, these projects are a fun and exciting way to build a portfolio that shows off their creativity and coding skills.

Grasshopper: Learn to Code

Google created the coding app Grasshopper, which provides interactive lessons and challenges to aid beginners in learning coding concepts and honing their programming skills. The app breaks down complex concepts into bite-sized lessons, making it easy for even the most novice coders to understand learning coding.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy provides free online courses, including coding lessons, that users can access through their mobile app to learn programming at their own pace. The app covers a wide range of programming languages, from HTML and CSS to JavaScript and SQL.

Programming Hub

Programming Hub is a coding app that offers a variety of programming languages and interactive lessons to help beginners learn coding skills and concepts. The app also includes quizzes and coding challenges to reinforce what you’ve learned.

Codecademy Go

Codecademy Go is the mobile app version of the popular online coding platform, providing coding lessons and exercises for beginners to learn programming on the go. The app offers a variety of programming languages, including Python, Java, and Ruby.

SpriteBox: Code Hour

SpriteBox: Code Hour is a coding app designed for beginners, especially kids, to learn programming concepts through interactive puzzles and challenges. The app teaches the basics of coding logic without requiring any prior programming knowledge.

Hopscotch—Programming for Kids

Hopscotch is a coding app specifically designed for kids to learn programming concepts and create their own games and animations using a visual, block-based coding language. The app encourages creativity and problem-solving skills while teaching the fundamentals of coding.

Swift Playgrounds

Apple made the app Swift Playgrounds, which uses interactive lessons and challenges to teach people who are new to coding how to use Swift, the programming language used to make apps for iOS and macOS. With puzzles and games that teach coding concepts, the app is meant to make learning to code fun and interesting.


Mimo is a popular coding app that offers interactive lessons and exercises in various programming languages to help beginners learn coding concepts and develop their skills. The app breaks down complex topics into easy-to-understand lessons and provides real-time feedback on your code.


Encode is a coding app that provides bite-sized coding lessons and challenges for beginners to learn programming concepts and develop their coding skills. The app offers a variety of programming languages, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python, and allows users to track their progress and earn rewards as they learn.

Benefits of Using Coding Apps to Learn Programming

Now that you know some of the best coding apps out there, you might wonder why you should use them to learn programming. Well, let me break it down for you.

Coding Apps to Learn at Your Own Pace

One of the biggest advantages of using coding apps is learning at your own pace. Unlike traditional classroom settings or bootcamps, where you have to keep up with a set schedule, coding apps allow you to learn whenever and wherever you have time. If you have 10 minutes or an hour to spare, open up your app and start learning.

This flexibility is especially helpful for those of us with busy schedules or other commitments. You don’t have to worry about falling behind or missing a class; you can simply pick up where you left off and continue learning at your own pace.

Coding Apps Interactive Lessons and Challenges

Another great thing about coding apps is that they offer interactive lessons and challenges to help you learn and practice your coding skills. Instead of just reading about coding concepts, you get to actually apply what you’ve learned through hands-on exercises and projects.

Many coding apps also offer real-time feedback on your code so you can see where you might have made a mistake and how to fix it. This immediate feedback is invaluable for learning and improving your coding skills.

Coding Apps Gamified Learning Experience

Let’s face it: learning to code can sometimes be intimidating and even boring. But coding apps have found a way to make it fun and engaging through gamification. Many apps use points, badges, and leaderboards to motivate users to keep learning and practicing their skills.

Some apps even have storylines and characters that guide you through the learning process, making it feel more like a game than a lesson. This gamified approach can make learning to code more enjoyable and less daunting, especially for beginners.

Access to a Variety of Programming Languages

Another benefit of using coding apps is that they offer access to a variety of programming languages. Whether you want to learn web development with HTML and CSS, mobile app development with Swift or Java, or data analysis with Python, there’s an app out there for you.

Having access to multiple programming languages can also help you figure out which one you enjoy working with the most. You might start with one language and then realize you prefer another, and coding apps make it easy to switch between languages and try out different ones.

Portability and Convenience

Finally, coding apps are incredibly portable and convenient. All you need is your smartphone or tablet and an internet connection, and you can learn to code from anywhere at any time. Whether you’re commuting to work, waiting in line at the grocery store, or relaxing at home, you can pull out your device and start learning.

This portability also means you don’t have to invest in expensive equipment or software to start learning to code. Most coding apps are either free or very affordable, making them accessible to anyone with a mobile device.

Coding Apps vs. Coding Bootcamps: Which Is Better for Beginners?

So you’re convinced that coding apps are a great way to learn programming, but what about coding bootcamps? How do they compare, and which one is better for beginners? Let’s take a closer look.

Cost Comparison

One of the biggest differences between coding apps and bootcamps is the cost. Coding bootcamps can be quite expensive, with some programs costing upwards of $10,000 or more. While there are some scholarships and financing options available, the upfront cost can be a significant barrier for many people.

On the other hand, coding apps are much more affordable. Many apps offer free versions or low-cost subscription plans, making them accessible to anyone with a mobile device. Even the paid apps are usually much cheaper than bootcamps, with prices ranging from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.

Time Commitment

Another key difference between coding apps and bootcamps is the time commitment required. Coding bootcamps are typically full-time programs that last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. During that time, students are expected to attend classes, complete assignments, and work on projects for several hours a day, often five or six days a week.

Coding apps, on the other hand, allow for a much more flexible learning schedule. Users can learn at their own pace, whenever and wherever they have time. While some apps do offer more structured learning paths or challenges, there’s no set schedule or deadline for completing them.

Learning Structure

Coding bootcamps and apps also differ in their learning structures. Bootcamps typically follow a set curriculum, with instructors guiding students through a series of lessons and projects. This structured approach can be helpful for those who prefer a more traditional classroom setting or need more guidance and accountability.

Coding apps, on the other hand, offer a more self-directed learning experience. While many apps do offer structured lessons and challenges, users have more control over what they learn and when. This can be great for those who prefer to learn at their own pace or want to focus on specific topics or languages.

Hands-on Experience

Both coding bootcamps and apps offer hands-on experience, but the nature of that experience can differ. Bootcamps often include group projects and collaboration, allowing students to work with others and gain experience working on real-world applications.

Coding apps, on the other hand, primarily focus on individual learning and practice. While some apps do offer collaborative features or the ability to share projects with others, the emphasis is more on building individual skills and knowledge.

Career Support

Finally, coding bootcamps often offer career support services to help graduates find jobs in the tech industry. This includes resume and portfolio reviews, mock interviews, and job placement assistance.

Coding apps, on the other hand, typically do not offer this level of career support. While some apps may offer resources or advice for job seekers, the focus is primarily on learning and skill-building rather than job placement.

So which one is better for beginners? Ultimately, it depends on your individual goals, learning style, and circumstances. If you’re looking for a more structured, immersive learning experience and are willing to invest the time and money, a coding bootcamp might be the right choice for you. But if you prefer a more flexible, self-paced approach and want to learn at a lower cost, coding apps can be a great option.

Key Takeaway: Jump into coding with apps that let you learn at your pace, anytime, anywhere. From Google’s Grasshopper to Apple’s Swift Playgrounds, these apps offer interactive lessons and challenges for all beginners. They’re often free or low-cost, making learning to code accessible without breaking the bank.

Can You Really Learn Programming Through an App?

You’ve probably seen the ads or heard the buzz about coding apps that promise to teach you programming on the go. But can you really learn to code using just an app? As someone who’s been coding for years, I can tell you that it’s possible, but there are some important things to remember.

Advantages of Learning with Coding Apps

First, let’s discuss the advantages of using coding apps to learn programming. The biggest one is convenience; you can whip out your phone and start coding whenever you have a few free minutes. There is no need to lug around a laptop or find a quiet place to focus.

Coding apps also tend to be more beginner-friendly than traditional learning methods. They break down complex concepts into bite-sized lessons, and many use gamification and interactive exercises to keep you engaged. Plus, most coding apps are a fraction of the cost of bootcamps or college courses.

Limitations of Coding Apps

However, there are some limitations to learning programming solely through an app. While apps are great for learning the basics, they may not provide the depth needed to tackle advanced topics or real-world projects.

Coding apps also lack the personalized feedback and support you’d get from an instructor or mentor. If you get stuck on a concept or need help debugging your code, you’re largely on your own.

Supplementing App Learning with Other Resources

So, what’s the best way to use coding apps to learn programming? In my experience, they work best as a supplement to other learning resources. Use an app to learn the fundamentals and practice your skills on the go, but don’t be afraid to dive into online tutorials, coding forums, or even a bootcamp or course when you’re ready to take your learning to the next level.

I also recommend building your own projects outside of the app. It’s one thing to complete coding exercises, but applying your skills to a real-world project will deepen your understanding and help you learn to problem-solve like a developer.

Choosing the Right Coding App for Your Learning Style and Goals

With so many coding apps out there, how do you choose the right one? As an experienced developer, I’ve found that it really comes down to your personal learning style and goals. Here are some key factors to consider:

Identifying Your Learning Style

Do you learn best by watching video tutorials, reading explanations, or doing hands-on exercises? Look for an app that caters to your preferred learning style. If you’re a visual learner, an app with lots of illustrations and animations might be a good fit. If you learn by doing, look for an app with plenty of interactive challenges.

Determining Your Coding Goals

Are you learning to code just for fun, or do you have specific career goals in mind? Different apps cater to different objectives, so choosing one that aligns with your goals is important. If your goal is to learn coding as a hobby, a gamified app might be perfect. But if you’re hoping to land a job as a developer, you’ll want an app that teaches in-demand languages and real-world skills.

Evaluating App Features and Reviews

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, closely examine each app’s features. Does it offer the programming languages you want to learn? How about the learning resources? Are there enough lessons and challenges to keep you engaged? Don’t forget to read user reviews to understand other learners’ experiences.

Trying Multiple Apps to Find the Best Fit

Still not sure which app is right for you? Here’s a secret: You don’t have to commit to just one. In fact, I recommend trying a few different coding apps to see what clicks. Most offer free versions or trials, so you can test them out without spending a dime. You might even find that using a combination of apps works best for your learning needs.

The bottom line? With a little research and experimentation, you can find a coding app (or a few) that will help you achieve your programming goals, regardless of your learning style or experience level.

Key Takeaway: Yes, you can learn to code with an app. They’re great for picking up the basics on your own. But remember, they’re just a starting point. Dive into other resources and real-world projects to truly level up your skills.


Imagine learning to program without the hassle of formal classes. That’s exactly what coding apps offer—an easy way in for anyone strapped for time or resources. Imagine learning to code right from your smartphone or tablet through fun activities and challenges that adapt to your own schedule.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or have some coding experience under your belt, there’s a coding app out there that’s perfect for you. So, what are you waiting for? Download one of these top-rated coding apps and start your programming journey today!

Who knows? With a little practice and dedication, you might just discover a hidden talent for coding that could open up a whole new world of opportunities. And the best part? Imagine controlling the digital world right from your hand—that’s what coding apps let you do.

About Lomit Patel

Lomit Patel is the Chief Growth Officer of Tynker, with 20 years of experience helping startups grow into successful businesses. He is also the author of the book "Lean AI" which is part of Eric Ries' bestselling "The Lean Startup" series.