The 10 Best Apps for Architects in 2012

The 10 Best Apps for Architects in 2012

In the frenzy leading up to the iphone 5′s anticipated release last week, we asked our Facebook Fans the best thing about their smartphone (when it comes to their professional lives at least).

The answer was overwhelmingly in favor of one key feature: the camera. From snapping shots on-site to taking photos for inspiration (or just to remember later), the ease of having a camera in your phone has made your lives that much easier (and Apple fans rejoice, as the new iPhone 5′s stand-out new feature is its souped-up camera, now with low-light and panorama modes). Many also mentioned the handiness of having email, maps, and a compass always at hand.

But apart from these standard features, we also got tipped to some really useful Apps that are changing the way you work. We’ve (not very scientifically, we’ll admit) compiled them into a top 10 list…check after the break to see which Apps made the cut!


Although not strictly for Architects, Evernote is a handy little (free!) App that lets you organize your life. See something you like (a document, image, web site, etc.), write up your notes, save it for later, and then find it again in a jiffy.


[steel] a database App of steel shapes

While one of the pricier Apps on our list ($4.99)this thorough database of steel shapes may be worth it – just so you’ll never have to lug that hefty hardback again.


Again, this App isn’t strictly for Architects, but if you’re constantly using and sharing heavy images/videos/documents like we are, you’ll be glad we tipped you to Dropbox.  It’s basically that place in the “cloud” where you can save all your stuff – so you don’t bog down your computer with it – and then share it easily. All for free. We here at the ArchDaily office swear by it.


The free App that turns anyone into a professional photographer, Instagram can give your project that extra finish to make it shine on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. We at ArchDaily are big fans of the retro filters (which you can tell from our own popular Instagram page), and it turns out that most of our readers are too.


Autodesk offers a bunch of Sketchbook Apps for iPhone, iPod, and iPad -great for a quick sketch when pen and paper aren’t to hand. And the mobile version will only set you back $1.99.

Photoshop Express

To quickly modify your renderings, intensify your images with colors/filters/borders (oh my!), you can’t do better than Adobe’s Photoshop Express. Plus, it’s free!


Flipboard is a free App that turns your life into a Magazine. The App syncs with all your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.) and news/entertainment providers (Google Reader/YouTube/Instagram) and creates a visually stunning Feed that’s tailor-made to you. Again, this is not Architect-specific. But it is

Magic Plan

So apparently this App is hard to master, but worth the struggle in the end. The App measures and draws floor plans just from your pictures and then exports them in many different formats – which means you can finally leave that measuring tape at home.


Called the “Wikipedia of interior and exterior design,” Houzz is a huge database of home design photos that you can save to a virtual idea book. Kind of like Pinterest, but exclusively for home design ideas.

AutoCad WS

One of the few Apps truly made for the needs of Architects, Autocad WS lets you annotate and revise drawings – whether you’re in the office or in the field – and effortlessly share them with others. Plus, the recently updated versions feature 3D viewing and GPS integration. Best of all? It’s free.

UPDATE: We have updated this list to be a more complete guide. You can find the updated list here.

About this author
Cite: Vanessa Quirk. "The 10 Best Apps for Architects in 2012" 17 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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