Smartphones have revolutionized every sector of modern industry, and the building trades are no exception. With the myriad of apps that are out there, it is difficult to know which ones are worth the time and expense. Here five of the most popular and highly rated apps for the construction business that are actually being used by industry professionals.
Calculated Industries’ Construction MasterPro is hands-down the best construction math calculator on the market, but at a price point of $69.95, it can put a bit of a dent in the wallet. Fortunately, the folks at Calculated have developed an app that will turn your smartphone or iOS device into a virtual Construction MasterPro calculator that is every bit as powerful as the original, but only costs $19.95. Available at the Google Play and iTunes stores.
Aconex now has a powerful mobile version that brings the power of your Aconex system to your smartphone. It allows the entire project team to access crucial information on-site or on the road, work off-line and sync-up via Wi-Fi later, capture photos, video, and audio of critical project information on-site and share them instantly, and forward marked-up folders to team members for immediate action. Available from Google Play and iTunes, but you must already own the Aconex platform in order to use the mobile version.
An ultra-fast blueprint viewer for Android and iOS, PlanGrid allows builders to mark-up and store project designs and forward them directly to their work crew members’ phones. PlanGrid can be used off-line, progress photos can be pinned to the blueprints, detail callouts are automatically hyperlinked, all markups and notes instantly sync across all platforms, and there is a searchable, automatic rolling issues log. It can also be used to create, maintain, and share punchlists. Available in a variety of price plans including a free version, PlanGrid can be downloaded and installed from the Google Play and iTunes stores.
BIMx (Building Information Modeling eXpress) by Graphisoft is a rugged, excellent, interactive app that allows all members of the project team to explore a detailed 3-D model of the project. BIMx’s intuitive, game-like functionality means that even those with few BIM skills can easily navigate the model and interpret model data. BIMx allows designers and contractors to easily collaborate on the design concept, and helps stakeholders more easily envision the completed project. Available for free in the Google Play and iTunes stores.
The SmartBidNet portal helps contractors manage their subcontractor communications, vendors, bid project data, and vital project documents in one place—and now they’ve released a mobile app to make things that much easier. Plan room data can be stored locally for offline access, and the mobile app includes all of the functionality of the internet portal. SmartBidNet Mobile is available for free from the Google Play and iTunes stores, but only to users with a SmartBidNet account.