How to take your GitHub repositories on the go with GitHub for iOS

Nov 17, 2019 San Francisco / CA / USA - GitHub symbol, Octocat, at the San Francisco headquarters; GitHub, a Microsoft subsidiary, provides hosting for software development version control using Git


GitHub is the place where open source and commercial coding projects live, communicate and grow through pull requests. Learn how to use the iOS GitHub app to manage your projects while on the go.

Nov 17, 2019 San Francisco / CA / USA - GitHub symbol, Octocat, at the San Francisco headquarters; GitHub, a Microsoft subsidiary, provides hosting for software development version control using Git
Image: Sundry Photography/Adobe Stock

GitHub has become the de facto tool for not only handling code, but it has also become the place to store tickets being worked on, see changes to code on projects, and even host websites and documentation. So many companies rely on Git for their distributed version control system, and GitHub takes that technology to the next level with its features.

One of those features is the GitHub app, which lets you easily manage your projects on the go including searching for repositories and inspecting files. The iPhone application also manages tickets stored in GitHub Issues and handles pull requests that might be assigned to you.

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We’ll show you how to do all of that in the GitHub app and share some third party tools that can even allow you to push commits to repositories right from your iPhone as well.

How to search for repositories on iOS

One of the main features of the GitHub app is the ability to search through and find repositories with ease. These could be your own organization’s repos or ones from the open source community hosted on GitHub. This experience is much improved over simply searching in Safari.

Figure A

Searching in the GitHub app will reveal results against repositories, issues, pull requests and more.

To begin, open the GitHub app, then perform these steps:

  1. Tap the Home tab.
  2. Tap into the search bar at the top.
  3. Type your search, then press Search.

When you search like this, you not only can find repos, but also GitHub issues tickets, pull requests and more stored in your GitHub account and publicly on GitHub.

How to manage GitHub Issues on iOS

GitHub Issues is the way that you can store and manage tickets related to a project inside of the Git repository that it pertains to. You can easily manage these tickets on the go with GitHub issues by doing the following:

  1. Open the GitHub app.
  2. Select the Home tab | Issues.

Figure B

The GitHub app can send push notifications when new issues are assigned or their status is changed.

Inside of this view, all of your tasks being tracked for your user will be shown. You can filter by open status, created date, visibility organization and repository, and you can also sort by newest, oldest, most or least commented, and recently updated, allowing for you to narrow down just the tickets you need to focus on.

Tapping on a ticket name will open the detail view and allow you to comment, mark issues as read, close issues and view related pull requests if they were linked together when creating the request from GitHub.

How to manage pull requests on iOS

Pull requests are an integral part of GitHub and you can manage those requests right on your iPhone while on the go by doing these steps:

  1. Open the GitHub app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Home tab | Pull Requests.

This will display all of your open pull requests assigned to you or inside of repositories that you own and control. Tapping on a pull request will allow you to see the commit history, comments and history on that request, as well as view the files that the pull request contains. Files can have comments added on a per-line basis just as they can be added on GitHub.com, except the iOS app is much more responsive than loading the mobile version of GitHub in Safari.

How to push changes to a remote repository on iOS

While the GitHub app is great with managing the business aspects of GitHub on iOS, there is still much to be desired for users who need to actually push repo commits and code to GitHub. If you wish to do this from your iPhone or iPad, then check out the Working Copy App Store Link, which is considered one of the best Git clients for iOS and iPadOS. It works with the Files app to allow you to manage files contained in a repository using any iOS and iPadOS app capable of editing those files before returning to Working Copy to create commits and push them to a remote repository on GitHub.



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