Although there are numerous CAD based apps available for the iPhone and iPad, engineers have not gotten that excited about the prospects to date. Although it’s nice to have these apps available, when it comes down to it, these devices simply aren’t suited for processing the large files that CAD drawings produce and the process is usually quite slow and frustrating. Engineers typically rely on these apps merely for viewing or making quick edits on the fly, rather than relying on them for creation or heavy duty editing.
This may be changing. As Apple begins improving the processing power and speed of their phones and tablets, and competitors are following suit, CAD apps for these devices are definitely improving. One such app, eDrawings, has certainly made some strides that have made engineers take notice. While we may be years away from relying solely on our tablets for CAD creation, eDrawings is making it easier to do the necessities and even take it a little bit further.
SolidWorks rolled out their new eDrawings app that is a collaboration based tool that allows users to transmit 2D and 3D files to one another. This is definitely a step forward since moving files between devices and computers was not an easy task in the past. Now, users can simply email the file. The email contains a lightweight viewer that allows other users who don’t have CAD software installed on their device or computer to view the image, another problem that has plagued these apps in the past. For engineers and CAD artists needing to share their designs with managers and clients, this app has the potential to be groundbreaking.
While many developers focus on the Apple platform, Android developers are stepping up to the plate now as well. Autodesk’s Design Review Mobile app is a cross-platform app that performs well and offers great viewing capabilities.
As more users embrace the Android platform it is believed that developers will start focusing on this platform and provide better options. Until then, the iOS system is still the most robust if you want 3D viewing capabilities on your tablet. One source states that this is largely due to having to create only one API file for the iOS platform, rather than having to create multiple APIs for the Android platform. Hopefully, this is an issue that will be addressed sooner, rather than later.