In January 2014, 58 percent of American adults owned a smartphone or tablet, spending an average of 2 hours, 42 minutes on their phones each day.
That fact from the Pew Research Internet Project does not even take into account the average construction professional who now relies on mobile technology every day in the field.
The following list is for those professionals. Here are 15 of the best construction apps for 2015:
Viewpoint Construction Software, of Portland, Ore., recently released its Viewpoint For Mobile, formally Mobile Field Manager. The Grid Time Entry lets users track time and productivity in a grid, which has the feel of a spreadsheet. Also, users can take and organize job-site progress photos that are tagged automatically with a date, location and job code.
A half million construction professionals can’t be wrong. That’s the estimated number of people using the app, which allows the transfer of maintenance logs, daily reports, project estimates and time sheets between company headquarters and construction sites. It also gives salespeople and estimators the ability to create on-site estimates for construction and repair projects.
The app is available on the Play store.
Fieldwire is a planning app that makes it easy for foremen, project managers and superintendents to collaborate while they are in the field. The organizational app lets crews look at the latest set of plans and share critical information such as photos and punch lists.
The app is available for Apple phones and tablets.
4. iSafe Inspections
iSafe is designed to help construction teams save money while managing their safety inspection programs. Users can automate any type of inspection, including safety audits, work orders, property assessments, asset management, service management and custom forms.
The Safety Meeting App covers 34 trade types and can be accessed from phones, tablets or computers. It meets the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s required meeting laws and stores records electronically.
Estimators and project managers will appreciate Corecon’s technology that lets users share punch lists, project dynamics, administration and daily logs.
PlanGrid makes the list for the third straight year. It’s still one of the best iPhone and iPad apps, letting contractors and architects collaborate on all their project plans, specs and photos. Users can upload PDF drawings to plangrid.com, and they automatically sync to all devices in real time.
iHandy gives carpenters five tools in one app, from measuring to leveling.
An advanced construction calculator, BuildCalc makes the list again for its ease and power. It’s consistently voted one of the best for iPhone and Android and is constantly updated to work with the latest phone-operating systems.
CM Pro can help users do almost everything, from laying out stairs to figuring out how much drywall to use. CM Pro performs many of the same calculations as BuildCalc.
BIMx won a product-of-the-year award in 2012 and continues to impress. It’s useful as a free, interactive 3-D communication and presentation tool for architectural designs.
The Apple app makes the list again and features more than 400 formulas for electrical, carpentry and plumbing calculations. It has formulas such as those for soil filling and correctly placing bricks, swimming pools, sidewalks and parking areas.
13. AutoCAD 360
AutoCAD is a drawing and drafting app that lets users view, edit and share drawings from mobile devices, desktops and the Internet.
For those who like to combine work and play, TouchTilt Games is developing its Buildanauts, which is in beta testing and will be available soon, according to the company. With Buildanauts, the user is the foreman, the city planner and the mayor of a town. Users plan the town and then bring it to life with the help of a construction crew.
15. Sim City BuildIt
EA’s Sim City BuildIt was released in December and is available for Andriod users. Much like Buildanauts, the user is the mayor of a town. Users can solve real-city challenges such as traffic, fires and pollution after building the city from the ground up.