Every now and then we like to pull together a list of the best mobile apps for an industry that we report on at Software Advice . This time we pulled together the top apps for the electrical contracting industry.
To compile this list, I went digging through thousands of apps to find the ones most useful to engineers, electricians, contractors and hobbyists. I encountered a lot of resistance (electrical joke, anyone?) wading through these apps stores, but I was finally able to whittle down the universe of apps to the list of 20 featured in this post.
The apps are broken into the 10 best apps for the Android and the 10 best-suited for the iPhone and iPad. Each app description includes the average user rating, number of reviews and (more importantly) the price. If your favorite app didn’t make the list, please leave me a note in the comments section to share with all of us what features and functionality you like best.
Top Android Apps
eTools – 4 stars with 194 ratings | Free
eTools is built for the electrical engineer and hobbyist alike. The app can perform calculations for LED resistors, inductive reactance and capacitive reactance. Developers encourage users to request more features, so feel free to ping them to suggest add-ons. The app works on all Android devices running 1.6 and up.
Electrical Wiring Pro – 4.5 stars with 333 ratings | $1.99
This app determines the proper wire size for the job based on the Ampacity and voltage drop. The app can also output key features such as wire impedance, maximum load and percent voltage drop. All calculations are based off NEC 2006, 2008 and 2011 standards. Works on Android 1.5 and up.
Conduit Runner Pro – 4.5 stars with 64 ratings | $1.99
This app is purely for calculating conduit bends and fills, with added features for pull box sizing. It can perform calculations for 3-bend saddles, parallel runs, offsets and more. The app is currently on version 3.1 and is compatible with Android 1.5 and later.
Ohm’s Law – 4.5 stars with 2,403 ratings | Free
The Ohm’s Law formula is easy enough to use, but it can be difficult to remember. This app makes it even easier to determine the relation between voltage, current, power and resistance. It’s by far the most popular Ohm’s app in the Android marketplace with more than 100,000 downloads. To run the app, users need Android 1.6 or after.
Pire Wheel – 4 stars with 44 ratings | Free
The DIY mathematicians out there will appreciate being able to use the formulas on Pire Wheel to solve for any two unknowns. For those less DIY inclined, Pire Wheel will perform the calculations for you. It’s a pretty basic tool but reviewers praise it for an appealing user interface. This app will run on all Android devices with 1.5 or after.
ElectroDroid – 5 stars with 11,071 ratings | Free
This is Android’s most reviewed electrical app on the market and has more than 500,000 installs. The app can calculate resistor rations, voltage divides and heat dissipation. It also includes several reference tables (e.g. a table for Ampacity). ElectroDroid runs on Android 1.6 or later.
Pinout – 4.5 stars with 266 ratings | Free
Pinout simplifies selecting the right electrical connector for audio, video, network, computer and miscellaneous electronics. The app contains a guide to USB, RCA, HDMI, Scart and several other connectors. This app works on all Android devices running on 1.6 and after.
Electronicoid Free – 4.5 stars with 74 ratings | Free
In addition to a voltage divider and Ohm’s Law calculator, Electronicoid can calculate resistor and capacitor requirements for both series and parallel circuits. The app also includes a reference guide to resistor and capacitor color codes. Electronicoid works with Android devices running on 1.6 or later.
Resistor ID Pro Toolbox – 4.5 stars with 23 ratings | $1.39
This app is designed for electronic engineers and enthusiasts working at the component level. The toolbox allows users to lookup five band resistors with features for reverse lookup as well. Naturally, an Ohm’s Law and reactance calculator is included in the app. Resistor ID is also offered in a free version – both require Android 1.5 or later.
Electrical Calculator – 4 stars with 252 ratings | Free
Electrical Calculator helps determine wire grounding, Ampacity and voltage drop. Features for conduit fill and utility provider reference are in the development phase. The app was recently updated on August 31, 2011 and will work on Android 2.0.1 and up.
Top iPhone & iPad Apps
Electrical ToolKit – 3 stars with 3,776 ratings | Free
This app is a good resource for engineers, technicians and students alike. The app has features for polar versus rectangular calculations, the power triangle, RLC series circuits and more. iPhone and iPad users will need iOS 3.0 or later to run the app.
Electrical Pro – 3 stars with 93 ratings | $6.99
Electrical Pro incorporates more than 180 formulas and 130 charts to provide a diverse set of electrical data. To keep you from burning the building down, the app also has a handy index of safety codes. Electrical Pro will work on Apple handheld devices with iOS 3.1 or later.
Electrical Formulator – 3 stars with 76 ratings | $3.99
Electrical Formulator is developed by the same team that put out Electrical Pro. This is a simplified version of Electrical Pro but still includes wire sizing, impedance and voltage drop calculators. It can work on any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad with iOS 4.1 or a more recent version.
Electrical Ref – 3 stars with 47 ratings | $0.99
As the name might suggest, this app is mainly a reference tool that can perform several calculations. It has a graphical resistor calculator, 6 circuit schematics and the ability to add your own circuit configurations. Electrical Ref can run on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad with iOS 2.0 or after.
iCircuit – 4 stars with 234 ratings | $9.99
In terms of apps reviewed here, this one’s a bit higher end. That’s because it includes a simulation program to test analog and digital circuits with more than 30 different features, such as MOSFETS and digital gates. Because it’s a hardware-intensive app, it’s recommended for use on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPad.
Wire Size – 3.5 stars with 56 ratings | $2.99
This app specializes in calculating wire sizing based on NEC 2008 standards. The app takes into consideration the voltage drop and ambient temperature correction factor to decide which wire size is best. It’s best suited for journeyman electricians and construction workers using an iPhone or iPad running on iOS 4.2 or later.
Resistor Color Code – 3.5 stars with 578 ratings | Free
This resistor reference app has support for three and four band resistors in the EIA value system. Specifically, the app supports E6, E12, E24, E48, E96 and E192 resistors. Resistors can be looked up by resistor color band or value. The app works on iPhones, the iPod Touch and iPads with iOS 3.0 or after.
Ohm’s Law – 4.5 stars with 31 ratings | Free
Reviewers tend to comment on the simple design of this app. There’s nothing fancy here, just the ability to solve for unknowns in Ohm’s Law. The app was updated in March 2011 and is currently on version 1.0.3. Ohm’s Law will run with any Apple handheld with iOS 4.0 or a more recent version.
Voltage Drop Calculator – 3.5 stars with 23 ratings | $2.99
Voltage Drop Calculator can figure the voltage drop for both copper and aluminum wiring. The calculations are limited to American standard wire gauges and North American voltages (AC & DC). The app is compatible with any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad running iOS 4.0 or later.
Engineering Calc – 4.5 stars with 7 ratings | Free
This app is designed for engineers and engineering students. The app can be used as a reference tool for electrical or radio frequency (RF) engineering. Electrical values are based on Ohm’s Law while RF engineering values are generated from Smith’s Chart. Interested engineers and students will need an Apple device running on at least iOS 4.2.
All app ratings and pricing came directly from the Android and iTunes markets respectively.