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Program CircuitPython devices with iPhone & iOS 13

With the launch of iOS 13, iPhone users now have the ability to edit code on CircuitPython USB devices! Once you’re device is updated, you can connect a board such as Circuit Playground Express and edit & run code on the go.

All you’ll need is an iPhone 6 or later, a Lightning to USB adapter (or Apple’s Lightning to USB Camera Adapter), a CircuitPython powered USB device, and a Micro USB cable. Check out the how-to below:

1 – Update your iPhone to iOS 13

Check for new OS updates in Settings->General->Software Update. If you already have iOS 13 or later, you’re good to go.

2 – Connect CircuitPython device to iPhone
Connect your Lightning to USB Adapter to iPhone and connect your CircuitPython device to the adapter via a micro USB cable.

3 – Copy code from CIRCUITPY drive

Open the Files app, and tap on the drive labelled CIRCUITPY. Locate the code.py file within. Tap and hold on code.py and choose Copy from the menu.

4 – Paste code to internal storage

Next in the Files app, navigate back and tap On My iPhone. Tap and hold on an empty area, and choose Paste from the menu.

5 – Edit code

Open the App Store and search for an app named Koder Code Editor and download/install it. Open Koder and tap the new file icon in the lower left hand corner, tap Open Other App’s Files, then open the internal copy of code.py stored in On My iPhone. Make changes to your code, then close the file – it will be saved automatically.

6 – Overwrite original code.py on CIRCUITPY

Return to the Files app, navigate to On My iPhone, and tap and hold on the edited code,py file. Choose Copy from the menu. Finally, navigate to the CIRCUITPY drive, tap and hold in a blank area, choose Paste from the menu, and then choose Replace from the popup that appears.

Done.
Wait a few moments, your CircuitPython device will restart and begin running the new code. That’s all there is to it!

Note that your CircuitPython device may periodically restart while being powered by iPhone – for continuous operation, be sure to connect your board to a dedicated power source.

iPad users can look forward to gaining the same capabilities when iPadOS 13 launches later this month 🎉


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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