Top Construction Apps. A List of Recommended Construction Project Management Apps
Saying that the market for mobile applications in the field of construction management have recently expanded would be an understatement. In the recent years there has been a massive rise when it comes to the amount and the variety of construction management apps developed for portable devices. This all happened due to one particular advantage that mobile devices can offer – mobility. And mobility might just be one of the biggest advantages that any construction management app can offer right now.
Construction project management in its entirety is both theoretical and practical, meaning that a lot of work would need to be done on site. In most cases, you can’t just bring your working PC to the site and always work there – this is where construction apps come in.
That’s not to say that both the flashlight app and the regular calculator are now useless – they still have their use cases, but the field of construction project management deals with a lot more than that – they try to bring at least some of the standalone software functionality in the form of an application that can be installed on a mobile device.
This process is not as easy as it might seem from the first glance. One of the prime problems in this case is the difference in the way you interact with mobile devices – that’s why not all of the construction app vendors are just putting their regular desktop interface in the form of an app and barely adjust it afterwards. This is where the definition of a construction management app begins to change slightly for everyone.
In this article we’ll look at various examples of construction project management apps. It’s fair to say that they tend to differ greatly depending on a lot of factors, from the position of the person that is going to be using the app, to the problem that the app in question aims to solve. Our list includes applications like:
- Autodesk BIM 360 Field/Plan/Glue
- iNeo Pro Field Daily Reports
- Punch List & Site Audit Report
- Aconex (Oracle)
- PlanGrid Build Field App
Now we’ll go over each of the applications above in slightly more detail.
Autodesk BIM 360 is a combination of construction applications, with each of these applications working with a limited set of features.
BIM 360 Field is all about report generation and issue marking, promoting accurate and quick problem reports and transferring them between on-site workers and their remote counterparts.
BIM 360 Plan is more focused on resource planning and production, it can be used in many different ways with the same goal – saving both time and money by properly calculating expenses and through other means.
BIM 360 Glue, as the name suggests, is a general-purpose mobile application for viewing BIM models, both online and offline. Additionally, BIM 360 Glue is capable of interacting with intelligent objects in several ways.
Revizto for iPad manages to fit almost all of the features that the regular desktop Revizto software can provide into one single application, thus making various BIM operations far easier than before.
Revizto’s mobile app can work with both 2D and 3D plans and models, enables custom properties for objects, supports point clouds, utilizes project status interactions in the form of photos, and all of that – using the same interface that you’ve been using with your desktop Revizto software.
Clockshark is one of those applications that are technically construction project management-related, although it does focus on only one single feature – time tracking. With Clockshark, it’s easy to track various time-centered parameters of your construction crew, and there are also other features that make this process more user-friendly. These features are time tracking automation, cloud-based time tracking, easy integration with many different construction apps, and so on.
Once again, the main feature is in the name – iNeo Pro Field Daily Reports is an application about professional reports. It can work with both daily reports and less frequent, but more detailed reports, as well.
All of the reports created in iNeo Pro Field can easily be chared using either e-mail or one of the cloud storages, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and others. You can easily attach various notes and photos to each of your reports, and the reduction in time for a person to create a report allows for more time when it comes to more important construction-related tasks.
More geared towards smaller or medium-sized construction companies, Co-construct is a comprehensive construction project management app with their sights set on various design-build companies, custom builders and remodelers.
The application itself has both standalone and web-based versions, capable of working with both Android and iOS devices, and offers a surprisingly broad list of features.
Some of these features are:
- task management;
- budget management;
- choosing materials and/or designs;
- various communication with client (including status reports), and more.
Another example of technical placement on the list, Punch List & Site Audit Report is an app that is focused solely on punch lists. The existence of the ability to simply list all of the potential problems of a specific project, or problems at the current stage in the on-site work, is capable of heavily influencing the outcome of the entire project as a whole. This app can also operate with notes and photos added as attachments to your lists and reports, and the general user-friendliness inspires users to work with it even more.
Fieldwire fashions themselves as a “fully featured blueprint management solution” – which makes accessing and sharing models one of the primary features of the app. Fieldwire’s construction project app allows users to access the most relevant project model from anywhere, and the app itself can be downloaded for both iOS and Android.
Offline model view is also available when it comes to Fieldwire and its capabilities, as well as some other features – sheet hyperlinking, adding annotations and markups, attaching photos, quickly importing drawings and blueprings, and so on.
Another variation of reporting application is called GoCanvas, and this one is geared more towards contractors and contractor-specific use cases. There are two main features that GoCanvas provides – filling out various reports, and creating forms. The first feature is extremely useful when it comes to filling out inspection forms, audits, work orders, estimates, etc. The second feature is more case-specific and mostly used for less known operations and tasks. Additionally, GoCanvas supports exporting into PDF format and file sharing of all of your forms and filled out documents, making it one of the best construction management apps in this field.
Moving away from reporting applications, FingerCad is a comprehensive mobile application that allows for actual modeling operations with nothing but your mobile device. It supports several different formats (with .DXF being one of them), and can be used for both quick drawings and advanced modeling operations. All of that is thanks to FingerCad’s interface, which is, while complicated, is actually offering a lot of features from desktop modeling software – to be used with your mobile device.
Aconex is a relatively popular information management platform that has been recently acquired by Oracle. One of the results of this acquisition is Oracle Aconex Main and Docs – a multifunctional construction project app that offers several different useful features for both construction and engineering projects. For example, Oracle Aconex can be used to view and interact with various drawings and design documents. There are also features like working with project mail, gaining access to your project-related tasks, attaching photos or videos to your annotations, and more.
When it comes to original approach to the best construction management applications, BuilderStorm is as unusual as it gets. While technically there is no dedicated app from BuilderSoft themselves, adaptive web design allows for the usage of their cloud-based construction management platform from most of the modern devices. This list includes desktop, Android and iOS devices, making it a jack-of-all-trades of sorts.
As for the platform itself, BuilderStorm offers several different construction-related features, such as reporting, procurement management, schedule management, project tracking, accessing files in the cloud, and so on.
There are four fields in which BuilderTREND mobile app excels at – financial management, project management, customer account management and presales management. As for the particular features, there are:
- bid requests;
- purchase orders;
- plan markups;
- CRM functions, etc.
PlanGrid Build Field is a construction app that specializes in drawing and document management, as well as collaboration between teams within the same project. Some of the features of this app are presented below.
- automatic hyperlinks for faster navigation;
- distribution of issue reports via rolling log;
- RFI lifecycle management;
- easy and fast drawing viewer;
- synchronization, and more.
While some of the examples above were more suited for custom building processes and remodeling operations, Procore’s construction project management app is more suited for companies that specialize in mass construction with less variety.
For example, with Procore you can access project directory, see schedules, track drawing set versions, mark up drawings/RFIs, interact with project data in many ways (both locally and remotely), log various daily activities on site (from weather to labor), and more.
Additionally, Procore can utilize the capabilities of your mobile device to provide some additional features, such as attaching photos from camera directly to your punch lists or drawings, or scanning QR codes to locate various building project submittals from Procore.
Solocator is another case-specific application, and this one specializes in adding more context to on-site photos. Solocator allows you to add various data to your photos, such as date, altitude, direction, and GPS coordinates. This is extremely helpful in many different cases, such as progress reports, issue reports, repairs, snags, and so on. That way, you won’t need to manually explain context for each of your photos, if they’ll already have both latitude and longitude added to them.
It’s safe to say that the construction project management apps market is massive, and it’s tough to compare most of the applications, since a lot of them are used in very specific use cases or very specific types of work. That being said, this kind of variety on the market allows for any user to find the exact construction app that they want.