Best Architecture Apps for iPad Pro, iPhone, and Other Devices in 2021
Architects worldwide have been able to change and improve their working habits in recent years drastically – and the abundance of architecture apps is the main reason for that. Now, it’s far easier to create an efficient workflow both on-site and in-office if you’re an architect since architecture apps took over both desktop and mobile markets, offering an unprecedented level of usefulness in many different fields.
While some apps are created for particular purposes, others are made for a more general audience by using simplified elements, a user-friendly interface, and abundant information on the subject. However, the massiveness of the tech scene may lead to some confusion on what to choose for your specific purposes.
This is where we come in, offering a list of the best architecture apps for many different purposes – from general project management to sketching, measurements, lighting, and more.
Top 16 best architecture apps
Polycam is an example of the newer generation of architecture apps for the iPad Pro (as well as for iPhone 12 Pro) since these two devices are the only ones so far that are equipped with a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging, a remote measuring method that uses pulsed laser to deliver highly accurate distance measurements).
Polycam allows for quick and accurate 3D scans of rooms and other spaces, and all of that with an addition of real-life imagery, too. Both planning and renovation branches of architecture should benefit significantly from the addition of such a quick method of 3D scanning since LiDAR allows for much more accuracy and precision than ever before.
Additionally, Polycam can work in many other ways with these 3D scans, including export into different formats, importing into full-fledged CAD software, generating 2D drawings and floor plans, and so on.
DroneDeploy is another contender on the list of the best architecture apps for iPad (and iPhone, too), and this one also caters to a specific audience. If the previous example was more about newer versions of Apple devices, then this app is, as the name suggests, made for people and companies that use drones.
Aerial site intelligence has become quite prominent in the last few years. The app market was forced to keep pace, too – this includes DroneDeploy, which allows for intelligent mapping, drone flight automatization, and transforming all of the drone images into a comprehensive map of the construction site, with dimensions, borders, and so on.
Sun Seeker is one more example of an app with a specific purpose in mind – and this time it is all about the sun’s position and the amount of sunlight for the structure at any given moment. Even though this app has many other use cases, it is extremely popular for architects and highly praised for its usefulness.
The feature set offers sun position visualization for any time of the day or the year. This app can show both a 2D compass and an AR visualization of an actual sunlight path, with the ability to switch to sunrise or sunset in an instant.
Concepts is a digital sketching app. It’s flexibility and accuracy have earned it a place in the list of best architecture apps for iPad Pro (although it still works with other iPad versions, and iPhones). It also has an extreme variety of use cases – not only for architects but also for illustrators, product designers, and so on.
Surprisingly enough, it is a relatively old app – and it has been earning awards left and right for the entirety of its lifetime. It can export your drawings into different formats and different apps, from Adobe to AutoCAD, as well as many other ones.
Shapr3D is a slightly different take on an app primarily used for 3D modeling and/or sketching. This one takes advantage of both Apple Pencil and finger-based actions to deliver one of the best architecture apps for iPad.
Used mainly during the stage of early concepts, Shapr3D allows for a quick and easy switch between 3D and 2D versions of your design sketch. It also offers compatibility with the majority of the well-known CAD software to allow for easy export and further processing down the line.
SketchUp is an example of 3D CAD software that has been on the market for a while, and right now, it is a result of over 20 years worth of software changing and evolving. Its intuitive design tools are particularly well-known and widely used by landscape designers, architects, interior designers, etc.
It offers both 3D and 2D modeling capabilities, including floor plans, elevations, and other features, as well as a massive library of 3D models that can be used to populate rooms and scenes. The addition of VR and AR into the software allowed for an accessible and in-depth 3D tour of each model, and its ability to work on the web will enable it to secure its place on our list of best architecture apps for PC and many other devices.
ArchiSnapper, a field-reporting application that allows users to generate extensive reports in the middle of site visits, represents a slightly different field of architectors’ work. It offers a centralized dashboard for the reports, reducing the amount of paperwork, among other benefits.
You can use ArchiSnapper to annotate, draw, add photographs, sketch, and comment using only your mobile device – this kind of extensive toolset allows ArchiSnapper to be on this list of best architecture apps for iPad Pro, as well as other Apple mobile devices.
Another exciting participant of this list of best architecture apps is ARki, a presentation platform that uses 3D visualization and augmented reality to create highly interactive presentations. It works with various 3D models in many different formats, including ArchiCAD, Revit, Rhino, Blender, etc.
The addition of mixed reality allows for on-site visualization. The app itself can be used to perform virtual tours over any of the models, with real-time lightning included in the package. It is a great virtual presentation tool that earns its place in this list of architecture apps for iPhone and iPad.
As one of the best architecture apps for iPhone, iPad, Windows, and Mac OS devices, BIMx is a multifunctional application that allows different parties to view 3D models and 2D plans. It also allows you to get measurements from every model and to leave markups and feedback directly inside the model.
Another massive benefit of using BIMx is the absence of paper models and drawings, which allows for a greatly diminished dissonance between the actual construction site and the design studio. All of this is combined with a simple user interface and game-like model navigation.
On a slightly smaller scale, there’s one more app focused on measuring the overall area of the construction – it is called Planimeter. Planimeter is a tremendous architectural app for iPhones and Android devices that can measure various objects, be it perimeters, lawns, fences, paths, and more – all of that with a built-in satellite map.
Planimeter can provide measurements in imperial and metric units, can work with GPS tracking for easier measurements of larger territories, and is relatively simple to use for everyone.
MagicPlan is a multifunctional sketching app that offers high-speed interior plan generation by using the device’s camera. All you have to do is stand in the middle of a room and let your device detect all of the corners, windows, doors, and so on – thus producing an entire room’s plan in a matter of minutes. It can be synchronized with a laser measurements device for additional accuracy, as well.
Other than that, MagicPlan offers a centralized hub for all of your plans and projects, allows for the addition of comments, images, and markups to each of them, provides estimations, generates reports, and more.
Autodesk mobile apps were made to allow for the mobility of opening AutoCAD or Revit files from anywhere using only your mobile device. Autodesk A360 allows you to upload and view 3D and 2D drawings, no matter what was used to create them. Some of the additional features include design markup, dimension measurement, project status tracking, large-scale model navigation, and so on. The existence of Autodesk mobile apps dramatically reduces the need to always have full-fledged architecture app for Mac or other desktop devices with you.
Cedreo is a web-based home design software suitable for many different purposes and professions – including remodeling specialists, builders, designers, architects, and so on. It uses 3D renderings to implement design ideas and visualize them as close to reality as possible.
Some of the features of Cedreo are floor plan sketching, 3D renderings, home decoration capabilities, customization for both interior and exterior of your models, and more. And the fact that Cedreo is a web application makes it eligible for the list of architecture apps for Mac, PC, and any other device with a web browser.
RoomScan Pro is an alternative to MagicPlan and some other participants of this list since it can generate floor plans without drawing them manually. All you have to do is to place your mobile device against each of your room’s walls, and the app itself would generate the entire plan, complete with dimensions and other characteristics. It can be paired with a Bluetooth laser scanner for added accuracy too.
There’s also a different version of the app that uses LiDAR feature in iPad Pro and iPhone 12 Pro to generate floor plans just as fast as RoomScan Pro – which is why it is called RoomScan LiDAR.
Morpholio Trace is a handy application for both designers and architects since it makes early design stages far easier by utilizing AR technology to allow for sketching and commenting on the actual photo or object in real life. It combines the intelligence and precision of CAD software with the speed and beauty of sketching as a process.
Revizto is an ICP (Integrated Collaboration Platform) for contractors, building owners, engineers, and architects that allows for streamlined communication throughout the entire lifecycle to reduce misunderstandings and errors that appear inside of a project. Revizto offers an extensive toolkit for both iPad and Mac users so that you can navigate the Revizto project, collaborate in real-time and track issues within the project, and so on.
Some of the features that Revizto provides are offline mode, the ability to combine 3D and 2D models, add photos, and more. There’s also an issue tracker, a virtual ruler, a clash manager, camera sharing capabilities, and more.
The introduction of mobile apps allowed for a drastic change in how architects work. Right now, there’s no need for unnecessary paperwork or outdated appliances since most of it can easily fit in your phone or tablet. In this article, we’ve presented our list of best architecture apps for iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, and other devices.