Running R on an iPhone/iPad with RStudio

Posted in R by Julyan Arbel on 3 May 2011

This thread has been widely discussed on a lot of forums. To make a long story short, running natively R on an iDevice (meaning iPhone/iPad) is disabled by its OS, unless it is jailbroken. The steps for the installation through Cydia are described in this R wiki, or this post. But there are some limitations, including bugs in package management. Running R directly seems not to be the more sensible way to proceed: smartphones lack so much power for that, you would do it just for fun. Typing R code on a small keyboard is quite tedious. But is manageable on a larger one (iPad, Galaxy Tab).

There could be another short-term solution to use R on an iDevice (or any other smartphone). As explained on this introduction to RStudio, the novel IDE can be launched directly on the Web, while running on a server. This would be an easier and safer solution than jailbreaking the mobile, which would have a number of benefits, including: the ability to access and share your files from anywhere (with an Internet connection), to benefit from more powerful computing resources (of your server), and to focus on a single configuration of R (for packages).

But there is a but, because the RStudio development team is still working on it. It is close to working (it is possible to click on tabs and menus) but not yet possible to get the keyboard to initialize and to type in the console. Yet executing the code can be done by clicking on Run line(s)+Enter. It is not a lot for now, but is a good start.

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16 Responses

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  1. Tal Galili said, on 3 May 2011 at 22:09

    This post is well in place,
    I wrote about the topic a while ago, and didn’t think of mentioning RStudion for it now that it is available, good catch!

    I feel very optimistic about what they will achieve in the next couple of years 🙂


  2. […] R?Updates (17.07.10 + 13.09.10 + 03.05.11)03.05.2011: “Satisfaction blog” wrote about the idea to use iPhone with RStudio – great job Julyan!I now came across David smith’s post on the REvolution blog, […]

  3. Pierre said, on 4 May 2011 at 09:56

    Maple et matlab existent aussi sur iPad?

    • Julyan Arbel said, on 4 May 2011 at 11:31

      lol, l’iPad aura un peu de mal à faire tourner ces monstres. Mais c’est une bonne question, existe-t-il une version “sur serveur” de Matlab, et de Maple? aujourd’hui R a cet avantage comparatif!

  4. […] Running R on an iPhone/iPad with RStudio « Statisfaction. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← RStudio Server on a Mac LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  5. Wordpress Blogs on iPad « Statisfaction said, on 15 September 2011 at 12:20

    […] good news, it is possible to follow Statisfaction on iPads! In a nice and non standard way I mean. The great blog tool WordPress provides a neat display, […]

  6. thiagosilva said, on 27 October 2011 at 17:38

    There is hope:

    Sure, the limitation to sharing code is big, but it could serve at least for educational purposes and for “brainstorming”.

  7. MattNapsAlot said, on 31 January 2012 at 02:45

    Super geeky –love it! I just got RStudio server running on my 12-core MacPro and I’ll have to try and run it on my iPad.

    BTW, getting the server edition up and running on OSx Lion took a bit of troubleshooting to figure out. If anyone is interested in fiddling with R on your iOS device, but only have access to an OSx computer, I’ve documented the procedure for getting RStudio server running on OSx Lion here:

  8. Tim Bates said, on 3 September 2012 at 18:47

    This (php editor/executor) suggests R might be allowed on the store now.

  9. Veliko said, on 28 October 2013 at 10:40

    Hey everybody,

    R is already running on any device, including tablets – on . It is web based and you don’t have to install anything. And you don’t even need to buy expensive servers, StatAce provides them (they are BIG).

    An important thing – there will ALWAYS be a FREE version of it 🙂

    This is the next generation R IDE, so check it out !

    • Juan said, on 22 November 2014 at 19:45

      Reminds me of SPSS. Reproducible research using these isn’t easier than doing it with Sweave

  10. Juan said, on 22 November 2014 at 19:32 has R language app. It is a somewhat limited version and you have to pay for (unlimited) compilations

  11. Analyser said, on 16 May 2017 at 10:03

    This app integrates both R and Python :

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