**Today’s guest post comes from Alex Levin representing a variety of clients including several surety bond agencies. As an office powered by an iPhone and an iPad, I rely heavily on useful applications to better serve my clients. But how about you guys out on the job? What is best for your everyday needs? Alex is here to let you know.**
The most useful tool for today’s contractors is neither a level nor a saw. It’s a smartphone. Thanks to the wide range of apps available today, your smartphone can let you review CAD drawings, calculate board feet of lumber, replace your level and do countless other things to help you get more work done in less time. Below are five apps that anyone in the construction industry should know about – whether you’re an Android or an iPhone/iPad user.
The iRuler app for iOS devices puts a ruler on your screen, letting you use your iPhone or iPad as a measuring device. It also lets you measure items larger than your iOS Phone or Pad by simply noting how many end-to-end devices you need to span the area, and giving you the total length. Similar applications are also available for Android phones and tablets.
4. AutoCAD WS.
Made by Autodesk, AutoCAD WS is a free app for both Android and iPhone/iPad devices. It lets you load and view DWG CAD files. This lets you keep your blueprints on your smartphone for quick reviewing on the jobsite or anywhere else.
Available in both Procore for iPhone and Procore for Android flavors, this app brings the Procore construction management platform onto your mobile phone. It lets you tap into your vendor lists and punch lists as well as offering time card tracking functions and even the ability to store and manage photos of your construction project as it progresses.
2. Quad Level.
The Quad Level app not only replaces your level, but improves on it. With vertical, horizontal, diagonal and 2-D levels, it can sense the slightest deviation from plumb or level. Even better, it tells you how far off of plumb or level you are in inches-per-10-feet. This saves you from having to do trigonometry to solve for slight construction errors. Quad Level runs on both the iOS and the Android platforms.
1. Construction Master Pro.
The number one mobile app for contractors is the long-lived Construction Master Pro. Available for both iOS and Android devices, this calculator goes above and beyond simple math and unit conversions. It can help you figure out how much drywall you need, how to lay out stairs, and even where to place roof rafters. Although it is not a cheap app, Construction Master Pro is a must-install.
In addition to these five apps, there are a range of applications available for both iPhone and Android which can help you to better manage your business. Dropbox allows users to access files wherever they may be, while Documents to Go or QuickOffice enables editing of Microsoft Office documents via phones or tablets. Finally, there are a range of translators available for both platforms; a great solution for those who work on multilingual job sites, as well.