Following our readers poll last year, here’s an updated list of what we think are the best ten apps for architects. From condensed versions of large scale programmes architects and designers use every day, to blank canvases to scratch ideas down onto, you might just find an app that could improve the way you work.
#10 Photosynth (iOS/Windows)
If you’ve ever been on a site, or in an interesting location, and are bored of flat panoramas then this app holds the answer. It’s user friendly and, once you’ve stood in one position and circled for a while, it stitches a collection of photos together and gives you a great 360degree panorama.
#9 AutoCAD 360, formerly AutoCAD WS (iOS/Android)
Get all your CAD plans on a mobile device. It’s simple and easy to use. They do require a ‘Pro’ subscription for some features.
#8 iRhino 3D (iOS)
Using this app you can view any Rhine 3DM file on your mobile device. It’s a great way of showcasing your models.
#7 Autodesk Formit (iOS/Android)
As a subsidiary of Autodesk Revit, this app allows you to create and alter BIM models on mobile devices.
The Morpholio Project is really interesting and offers an insight into where skilled app designers can go with a good idea. Trace is an architect’s best friend and they offer an app that does just that – you can read an ArchDaily review of it here.
#5 Adobe Ideas (iOS)
This app gives a few tools to jot down ideas quickly and efficiently. It doesn’t provide as many export options as our #4, but does work well on both iPhone and iPad.
#4 Sketchbook (iOS)
This app (designed by Autodesk) offers you sketching freedom coupled with useful ways of exporting drawings on different canvas sizes and at different resolutions. It might feel as user friendly as our #1 app choice, but it’s certainly useful.
#3 Graphisoft BIMx (iOS)
Introducing Hyper-models – Graphisoft’s term for describing BIM on mobile devices – has the potential to make BIM even more popular. As an app that can be used by every member of a project’s design and construction teams, it’s worth checking out.
#2 MagicPlan (iOS/Android)
MagicPlan is, well, magic. It takes advantage of the devices camera and augmented reality to create floor plans of rooms. All you have to do is stand and point your device and it does the rest of the work. You can then export these drawings as a PDF, JPG, or DXF. It takes a bit of getting used to at first but, once mastered, is quite accurate.
#1 Paper (iOS)
With five tools and a blank canvas, coupled with as many virtual sketchbooks as you want, Paper is one of the most loved mobile sketching apps. Having won Apple’s App of the Year and been given the 2012 Apple Design Award, the app has also been extensively reviewed by The Verge. It’s fast, easy, and responsive.