The world is moving at a pace that would have seemed impossible a century ago. The office has gone beyond the physical space. For the modern day architect, the office is anywhere work gets done, anywhere being everywhere—within walls, in the open fields, during transit, anywhere an enterprising architect can find space to sit or at least, space to stand. There are many architecture-centred apps available across different mobile devices and platforms. Here is a curated list of top apps that are available across the major mobile operating systems, and can change the game for any architect. Apps available on only one platform are not featured here.
- AutoCAD 360 (iOS, Android and Windows)
AutoCAD is world leader in architectural drawings. The AutoCAD 360 app extends the power of AutoCAD across web and mobile devices allowing collaboration among team members. With AutoCAD 360, an architect can easily view and edit drawings online or offline once such drawings have been synced to the mobile device. Changes to drawings are saved on the device, and then uploaded to any of several cloud storage services whenever the device gets an internet connection. Click here for more details.
- Autodesk FormIt 360 (iOS, Android)
FormIt 360 enables ideas to be brought to life. The app enables ideas to be captured at any time, so that building design concepts are not lost. Early design decisions are supported with real building data to put forms in context using real-world site information. The app supports Building Information Modelling workflow and cloud synchronization. Designs can be moved to enhanced software such as Revit and other similar desktop applications for further refinement. Click here for more details.
- Graphisoft BIMx (iOS, Android)
This app exists in two forms—BIMx and BIMx PRO. The PRO version is where the real work is done; the former is basically a viewer for clients and others who want to view BIMx building models. Designs done in the app can be viewed naturally as if a person were to be walking through the building. The app supports 2D and 3D models, an enhanced experience using 3D glasses, and support for different cloud storage providers. Click here for more details.
- Sun Seeker (iOS, Android)
OZPDA’s Sun Seeker shows the solar path using an augmented reality camera 3-D view and a flat view compass. It also indicates the sun’s location at hourly intervals, its paths during different seasons of the year, and rise and set time. The app’s Map View feature also shows solar direction for each daylight hour. Considering the rising preference for eco-friendly homes featuring passive solar heating and lighting, the app can help architects note the spatial variability of the solar angle all year long. Click here for more details.
- ArchiSnapper (iOS, Android)
This app reduces an architect’s need for paper and pen, especially when in the field. ArchiSnapper enables reports to be drafted and accessed onsite. With the app, important information about ongoing projects can be easily captured, leading to increased productivity. Using ArchiSnapper, photographs, drawings, sketches, annotations and comments are automatically numbered and organized, and everything sits securely in the cloud. With pre-filling of repetitive fields, field reports can be quickly compiled and sent as PDFs, freeing up time for greater productivity. Click here for more details.
- Houzz Interior Design Ideas (iOS, Android)
When the walls have been plastered, a building is not yet complete if the interiors have not been made beautiful. The Houzz app is useful for locating interior design styles and design professionals. The app has loads of images of exquisite interior designs. These designs come with reviews and details about previous projects, making it easy to settle on a fitting style and budget. Click here for more details.
(All images are copyrights of the respective app developers)