The 4 Apps Every Architect Should Download Now

  • 01 Oct 2012
  • by
  • Editor's Choice Software

The results are in!

After publishing our 10 Best Apps For Architects, getting your comments, and then polling your votes on Facebook, we are finally ready to introduce our new (and improved) list: The 4 Apps every architect should download now! And we mean now. Trust us.

Find out the 4 contenders who stood out from the pack (and a full list of other awesome Apps) – after the break…

#4 iRhino 3D

Coming in at the #4 spot, iRhino 3D lets you view your 3D Models any way you want – with a tap or drag of the finger you can easily zoom in, pan out, and even rotate your models. Plus, you can load your Rhino models from web sites (Google Docs, DropBox, email attachments, etc.) and then save them later to markup or email. $3.99 - for ios only

#3 Sketchbook

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Jumping up from the #6 spot, Sketchbook Mobile, one of many of Autodesk’s Sketchbook offerings, lets you draw, paint, and sketch – and it works in layers so you can edit easily as you go. $1.99 for ios / $0.25  for Android

#2 Morpholio

Created by the five architects behind the Morpholio project, this super cool App seeks to re-imagine the portfolio. As they put it, the App transforms “the users portfolio into a constantly versioning and customizable collection of images that is more reflective of the way we work today.” It also lets you collaborate with and critique the works of others, integrating you into an architectural community. Best of all, it’s FREE - for ios only

#1 AutoCad WS

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Once again in the number one position, our Facebook Fans overwhelmingly voted for AutoCad WS as the App they favor most.

Why? Probably because AutoCad WS lets you annotate and revise drawings on the go – and lets you share them easily. Or maybe because the latest version features 3D viewing and GPS integration. But we’re also guessing it’s your favorite because of the price tag: AutoCad WS is 100% FREE - for ios / for Android


 Other Reader-Recommended Apps Worth Checking out…

For Better Drawing/Rendering/Modeling

Autodesk 360 - “View and annotate drawings on the spot, [and] reduce the need to carry around over-sized paper drawings.” FREE - for ios / for Android

GRAPHISOFT BIMx™, according to our review, “makes BIMx an interactive environment with game-like navigation.” And it’s available to anyone, even those without a BIMx license. FREE - for ios / for Android

Morpholio Trace, the latest App developed by The Morpholio Project, lets you draw on top of images (imported from your  camera or other sources) as if you were using tracing paper. FREE - for ios only

Paper A beautifully designed iPad App (well-loved by its Users – check out this awesome review on the Verge) that lets you draw as if on paper. FREE (then $1.99 for each successive tool) - for ios only


For Better Reading / Inspiration

Design Observer - The mobile App that lets you easily read content from the Design Observer. FREE - for ios only 

Flipboard - This App syncs all your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.) and news/entertainment providers (Google Reader/YouTube/Instagram) to create a Feed that’s tailor made to you. FREE - for ios / for Android

Good Reader “handles huge PDF and TXT files, manuals, large books, magazines, and renderings of 100 mb and more with great speed.” AND it lets you mark-up your PDFs with text, sticky notes, lines, freehand drawings, etc. $4.99 - for ios only

Houzz - a huge database of home design photos that you can save to a virtual idea book. FREE - for ios only

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To Make Your Life a Little Easier…

InchCalc - A powerful calculating tool for measurements and conversions. $1.99 - for ios only

Magic Plan - Measures and draws floor plans from your pictures and lets you exports them in different formats. Check out the nifty video here. FREE - for ios only

My Measures and Dimensions Like Magic Plan, My Measures allows you to add dimensions (as arrows, angles, text) on any photo and share them easily. $2.99 for ios / $4.25 for Android

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Panorama 360 - Lets you stitch photos to make, as CNET put it, ”Instant, awesome panoramas.” $0.99 for ios / FREE for Android

Photosynth - Microsoft’s contribution to Panorama stitching, where “you can not only make a panorama from left to right, but also up and down, enabling you to capture a full “sphere.” FREE - for ios only

Pocket Light Meter - ”Measures reflected light, and allows reciprocity calculations.” FREE - for ios only

[STEEL] - “Decades’ worth of steel shapes data at your fingertips!” $4.99 for ios / $3.99 for Android

Sun Seeker - An app that lets you track the sun’s affect on your work, giving you a better “feel for the spatial variability of the solar angle throughout the year.” $8.99 for ios / $6.22 for Android

Cite: Quirk, Vanessa. "The 4 Apps Every Architect Should Download Now" 01 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • Jorge Porras

    -Graphisoft BIMx
    -Autodesk 360

    • hemanti

      try Instafusion app… has a very easy and beautiful interface..

  • Laurent

    Revit architecture for mobile have to be design

  • jb

    what, no evernote?, we use it everyday, along with daylite.

  • Adam Revetta

    Awesome list! Thank you for the information. Prolific Methods has an app released called “Pitch Gauge” that allows you to measure roof pitch and determine a roof’s total squares from the ground. Another app worth mentioning! You can download it here:

  • Aleksandra Melenteva


  • andrew317

    to those who use sketchup, you should try Cubits. A 3dmodel viewer for iOS. Compatible with .kmz file types. Just export your sketchup file to .kmz.

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  • Arnold


  • mike

    also some guides of architecture should be in the list: “Domus” or “iArchitecture New York” are in my list!

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  • masoud

    its very very goood.tanks

  • Alfiya Karimova

    You should add ApropPLAN to your list. Great app to follow up on your blueprints, create meetings on the field – and save time finally!

  • Doug

    Surprised TurboViewer or TurboSite mobile apps were not listed. The fastest and smoothest CAD viewer for mobile. TurboSite is also a new tool for AEC designed to optimize the process of documenting, recording (markup, notes, pictures, video, and audio), and reporting, project site visits.

  • mg Nisperos

    cant download magic plan :((

  • Kay Siegert

    We recently released our iPad app called “Plaans” – an assistant
    for construction site documentation. This might be interesting as well. Here´s the app home page with further details:

  • RicK

    Time for an update to this list…

    Magic Plan (for example) works on my S3 Android 4.3 phones…

    … your device needs a gyroscope

  • willie

    plangrid is the only reason I charge my ipad every night.

  • Alan Kow

    The lack of Android apps here is appalling.

    • Nico Saieh

      Which Android apps do you use? We’d love to make an updated post including Android apps

  • Jonathan

    Another proof that mobile devices are part of the architect toolbox.
    That’s why I made my 2014 portfolio interactive using augmented reality. You can try it out at


    You should add NATA app ( ) to your list. An efficient app for the Indian students who are willing to step into architecture.

  • arezoo