There is an ever-growing presence of mobile devices in our lives today. With approximately 1 in 4 adults owning a tablet device and 1 in 2 owning a smartphone, chances are you or someone in your family has an iPad, a tablet PC, or a smart phone. These devices help keep us connected to our families, friends, and careers in constantly evolving ways. Most of us are used to getting our company email sent straight to our phone, and of course taking company calls, but that’s about where the work ends.
We go home and use our phones to check Facebook and Twitter, and we pick up our tablets to read a book or play a game (Angry Birds or Candy Crush anyone?). But why does their use have to stop there? There are lightweight, powerful devices at our disposal and we use them for miniscule tasks and entertainment. But a few forward thinkers are starting to unleash the power of these amazing gadgets to make our work easier and more efficient.
There are a growing number of apps available for Apple and Google mobile devices that are specifically targeted at making our jobs more efficient. And it goes way beyond being able to mark up PDFs or edit a spreadsheet. There are apps available for project management and coordination, site visits and punch lists, and, of course, working with sketches and 3D models.
So imagine being in a client meeting and sketching new ideas right over the top of the existing drawings. Or think about getting real-time discussions on a project from designers and contractors. Imagine going to the job site and taking pictures and making notes with a 1 pound tablet instead of that behemoth of a drawing set.
Something to make you more productive? There’s an app for that.
Some of my favorites:
- AutoCAD 360 – AutoCAD on any mobile device. Free https://www.autocad360.com/
- FormIt – 3D conceptual design on any mobile device using real-world site information. Free http://autodeskformit.com/
- Autodesk 360 Mobile – cloud-based services and digital workspace for design and collaboration. Free https://360.autodesk.com/
- Houzz – design inspiration, project advice, product information, and professional reviews. Free http://www.houzz.com/
- Morpholio Trace – allows users to instantly draw on top of imported images, or background templates, layering comments or ideas. Free http://www.morpholioapps.com/trace/
- BIM 360 Field – Combine mobile technologies and cloud-based field data collaboration, reporting. Contact your Autodesk reseller for pricing. http://www.autodesk.com/products/bim-360/overview
- BIM 360 Glue – Get BIM coordination and management, and virtually anywhere access to project information. Contact your Autodesk reseller for pricing. http://www.autodesk.com/products/bim-360/overview