I wanted to take a look at the mobile apps available to manage my Git repositories and GitHub projects. I was expecting to find just a couple of options but, to my surprise, there are dozens of apps that claim to be your ideal solution when you need to access git or GitHub on the go.
Just do a search with “git” as keyword in the Google Play Store and you’ll immediately get over 30 results. This includes several ones that are just apps to learn git (check out this open source quick git reference guide) while commuting. And also others that have been abandoned already or are still at an alpha stage.
After my (subjective) cleanup, my shortlisted selection of recommended apps for git and GitHub is the following.
Mobile Git apps
Pocket Git is a powerful standalone Git client for Android with all the obvious features (cloning repositories, checkout branches, diff the views, creation of files, commits, tags,…. ) and support for HTTP and SSH protocols, passwords and private keys (with passphrase). Sure, it’s not free but it costs less than 3 USD, and as a developer yourself I’m sure you’ll understand your fellow developers need to eat, right?. See PocketGit in action in the featured image for this post.
On the Apple side of things, WorkingCopy is by far the most popular and appreciated git client for iPad and iPhone. As they convincingly explain in the app description, sometimes you just want to update a TODO file or make adjustments to your Jekyll site. Sometimes you just need to add a file the designer sent after hours. WorkingCopy is ideal for that so that you don’t forget to make those changes (or have to wait until a large screen is available). Another interesting feature is the graph of your commits. This graph lets you zoom out for an overview of of the commit tree or zoom in for specifics about each commit, with speed and beauty you won’t find in desktop Git applications. This app is free for browsing but you’ll need the enterprise edition to be able to push commits.
FastHub is another popular alternative but seems to be undergoing a major refactoring at the moment so it is wise to wait for the new major version to be released. FastHub-libre is a FLOSS fork of FastHub.
And more on the extreme side of things, instead of a Git client, you could even try to run a Git Server on your mobile with user and user group password and ssh authentication for repositories.
Mobile GitHub apps
The elephant in the room for this section: The Official GitHub mobile app is now live and looks rather impressive. So all the tools below will need to find their niche (or just die) to compete with it.
For Android devices, my top recommendation is ForkHub. ForkHub is an open source GitHub client for Android based on the abandoned former official app. It uses the GitHub Java API built on top of API v3 to provide in the app all the typical web-based GitHub functionalities. You can even share code snippets as GitHub Gists. With over 50K downloads is by far the most popular GitHub app for Android. And if you don’t like ForkHub, you could also try OpenHub, GitPoint (see below) or OctoDroid, though this latter one focuses more on visualizing the repos/projects and only offers limited edition functionalities.
As a complement to any of them, you could also install Git Social (helps you to keep up with the recent activity of the GitHub users you follow).
For Apple devices, my first option would be GitPoint (also available for Android). Built with React native, GitPoint is a free, open source “GitHub in your pocket” option (as they define themselves) with a great UI. You can view repository and user information, control your notifications and manage your issues and pull requests. GitHawk is another great option, especially to help you clean your GitHub notifications. It offers rich commenting support (including emoji reactions) to respond to them as fast as you can. Grape for GitHub is one of the latest Apple app store additions in the GitHub clients category. You can do all the typical GitHub actions (look for repos, star them, watch them, follow developers,..) including writing/ managing comments, even in Pull requests. What you cannot do is to modify the code directly (but for add you already have the above apps for Git category).
And if all you need is an app to manage your GitHub issues, GitShot will do the trick. And if all you want is to get an alert on your phone that pings you whenever new GitHub notifications arrive, Brigitte will be enough for you.
Any apps for Bitbucket or GitLab?
There is an app for every need. GitLabControl helps you to manage your GitLab project on any iPad/iPhone device. If instead, you’re using BitBucket, there are several options available. The most popular one, Bitbeaker, is an open source Bitbucket client for Android. Bitbeaker is not a full Git nor Mercurial client. It uses Bitbucket’s REST API instead. Bitbasket is a potential alternative for Android and CodeBucket one for iPhone. And for people with projects in both GitHub and BitBucket, OmniCode offers a unified interface for both platforms.