Our original post received 28 comments from loyal readers of The Construction Blog. Many of those comments were from readers suggesting apps they’d like to see reviewed. At least one reader requested to know what apps are available for the Android.
Always eager to please, we rolled up our sleeves and went digging through the thousands upon thousands of apps out there in the Android’s virtual marketplace. Although there’s been a frenzy of app development over the past year, finding an app for construction cost estimating isn’t any easier. (What gives, Google?)
We’ve sifted through the irrelevant and poorly rated apps to bring you the cream of the crop. (You’re welcome.) Here, we profile the best construction management apps built for the Android. Each review comes complete with the average user rating, device compatibility and OS requirements, and pricing. Please feel free to let us know if we left your favorite app off the list.
CAD, Design and Drawing
DAKO PRO Civil Engineering – 4.5 stars with 8 ratings | $9.52
This app, by DakoSoftware, is built specifically to help meet the design needs of civil engineers. The app contains an expansive engineering library with information on beam design, concrete design, and channel design. The app also allows civil engineers to work with Circle of Mohr calculations. This app is designed for the Android OS 1.6 and after.
Rilievo – 4 stars with 2 ratings | $2.93
This app is built by an architect, for architects. It handles architectural surveys and was built to eliminate the need for paper surveys. After you input measurements into the app, they can be saved to an external folder for later viewing. Files can also be transferred directly to your AutoCAD folder and saved for later manipulation. The app will only run on the Android OS 2.2 or later.
AutoCAD WS – 4.5 stars with 3,000+ ratings | Free
This free app is provided by AutoDesk and enables you to access and edit all of your CAD files on the go. You can open via email attachments, synced files, or simply download them from your AutoCAD program. Files can be saved locally for easy access and updating without an Internet connection. The app requires Android OS 2.1.
AndCAD – 4.5 stars with 65 ratings | $19.99
This native Android app is great for architects and civil engineers. It supports all AutoCAD files and has features for true vector objects, object snapping, and image underlay with a host of other features in the development queue. To run the app on your Android device, you will need to have Android OS 1.6 or after.
Concrete Design – 4 stars with 44 ratings | Free
This one will let you calculate the amount of concrete and reinforcement needed for a given job. The app has features that check the compression zone and cracking. It also integrates with DakoSoftware’s Beam Design app so beam dimensions can be transferred directly. Works on all Android devices with OS 2.1 or later.
Handy Construction Calculator – 4.5 stars with 300+ ratings | $7.99
This is one of the most popular construction calculators in the Android market boasting nearly 10,000 downloads to date. With over 27 construction calculators built into the system, it’s perfect for the DIYer and contractor alike. The app can calculate the requirements for anything from crown molding to the amount of asphalt needed for a job. It will make your job easier on any Android OS 1.5 or later.
Carpenter’s Calculator – 5 stars with 4 ratings | $4.00
Just as the name implies, this app covers the basic needs of carpenters on the job site. It calculates in feet and inches or just inches rounded to the nearest preferred decimal. It also includes features for “decimal pointed” metrics. Notably missing from the app, however, is calculations for roofing and pitch. It’s still a great app for the basics and can be put to work on Android devices with version 2.0 or later.
Construction Master Pro – 5 stars with 4 ratings | $19.99
As far as calculator apps go, this one is a bit pricey. (But it’s still a steal compared to buying the real deal.) It helps you compute standard construction calculations and trigonometric functions. That means contractors and construction workers can tally estimates for everything from stairs to concrete yards. Works for either the Android OS 1.6 and later, or the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad iOS 3.0 or later.
Wood Beam Design Construction – 5 stars with 4 ratings | $1.99
This app speeds up the process of calculating wood beam placement by taking into account lumber type, beam size, and the weight distribution. From these inputs, the app will indicate how much stress the beam can take based on the applied load. This helps take some of the guess work out of beam design. Also available for iPhone iOS 3.0 or later.
Steel Beam Design Construction – 4.5 stars with 10 ratings | $1.99
The counterpart to the wood beam design app, this one helps you estimate for hot rolled steel – accounting for the load, span, and shape and size of the steel beam. From this information, you can determine the best beam type to use and calculate the allowed deflection. The app is designed for all Android OS 1.5 or later and also works with the iPhone iOS 3.0 or after.
Electrical Calculator – 4 stars with 150+ ratings | Free
Designed for electricians and based on US NEC 2008 standards, the app contains a wealth of information about electrical wiring and circuitry. It includes features for wire size and amps, voltage drops, Ohm’s law, and motor FLC tables. It’s still in beta testing so you can expect more on the development front in the future, including a conduit fill feature. The app works with Android OS 2.0.1 and later.
HVAC Psychometric – 4 stars with 2 ratings | $6.99
After thousands of downloads of their iPhone and iPad app, Carmel Software finally brought HVAC Psychometric to the Android. The app has 23 different combinations of input variables that can be used to perform psychometric calculations. The app displays results for dry-bulb temperature, humidity ratio, partial pressure, enthalpy and more. Additional parameters such as atmospheric pressure and units (e.g. degrees) can be added to customize the app.
HVAC Duct Calc – 4 stars with 10 ratings | $9.99
This HVAC app calculates duct sizing and air flow requirements quickly and easily. You can switch between multiple units of measure for airflow, friction, duct sizing and velocity. Additionally, you can set standards for air altitude, temperature and humidity. This app will work on an Android running OS 1.6 or later.
Civil Engineering Suite – 4 stars with 2 ratings | $8.99
Featuring a full collection of apps, this suite aids civil engineers in the design process for multiple engineering scenarios. The apps contain a design calculator for beam deflection, manning flow circular pipe, and broad crested weir flow. This suite is built purely for Android devices running on OS 1.5 or later versions.
Drywall Calculator – No ratings with no reviews | $5.99
A newcomer to the Android market, this app appears to be an improvement over the $0.99 version. It calculates all the essentials, such as drywall estimations, wall height and distance between studs and screws. An Android device with 2.0.1 or later can run this app.
Converting Units Construction – 4.5 stars with 6 ratings | $1.99
Converting from metric to standard measurements can be a big pain in the decimal point. But this app can handle all of your conversion needs right on the spot. It includes helpful hints, such as a ton of air conditioning equals 12,000 Btu/hour. This app will work on all Android devices OS 1.5 and up.
Roofing Calculator – 4 stars with 4 ratings | $19.99
This app is a little pricey but the trade-off is more bang for your buck. For example, roofers can hammer out estimations right at the job site. The app includes features that can calculate roof tear-off costs, miscellaneous material costs, and skylight and chimney costs. It also has features for vent cut-in and installation, roof deck replacement, and roof difficulty. The app requires Android OS 1.6 and up.
V Curve Pro – 4.5 stars with 3 ratings | $9.99
Surveyors, construction specialists, and CAD technicians alike will appreciate the functionality of this app, which specializes in calculating profile grades on the fly. It can calculate profiles, vertical curve elevations, as well as perform conversions on slopes and lengths. For the more discriminating user, a free version is available as V Curve Pro Lite.
Universal Estimator – 4 stars with 4 ratings | $1.29
As part of iQuick Tools’ app series, Universal Estimator handles multiple types of projects, including painting, flooring, framing, and roofing, right from a single app. Once an estimate is generated, you can easily email the total yourself and your client. The app works on Android OS 1.5 or iPad and iPhone iOS 4.0 or later.
A Estimate All Pro – 4 stars with 6 ratings | $3.99
This app is designed to handle all types of estimating – from concrete, painting and remodeling to other construction estimating jobs. It also doubles as a consumer app to estimate the cost of the non-work related items in your life. Reviewers of this app also noted that the developer is very responsive to development suggestions. It works for any Android device with OS 1.5.
LEED GA Exam Prep – 3.5 stars with 4 ratings | $9.99
Featuring more than 300 sample test questions, this app is a great reference tool for those studying for the LEED certification exam. LEED experts developed all of the exam questions, so it provides a good sampling of the actual test. The app works for an Android device with OS 1.0 and up.
Contractor Talk Forum – 4.5 stars with 33 ratings | Free
Keep up to speed with with other contractors in the business with this app. As far as construction apps go, it’s quite popular with more than 10,000 downloads. It’s a great tool for interacting with others in the community and learning about the latest trends in your network. The can run on Android OS 1.5 and up.
OnSite Plan Room – 4.5 stars with 3 ratings | Free
This app allows you to share plans and other project documents right from your phone. Each new account includes 1GB of free storage to house all your documents. Collaborators can view, add and reply to comments on plans and documents stored to keep everyone in the loop. The app will work for Android OS 2.0 and on an iPhone or iPad with iOS 3.0 or later.
iConfirm – 4 stars with 2 ratings | Free
Keep all of your site documents in order with the iConfirm app, which can manage job site verification forms, change orders and photo documentation. Documentation can be signed directly on your phone, and all documents are legally binding. Plus, you can customize documents with your company logo. This app works on Android OS 1.6 and up, as well as any Apple mobile device with iOS 4.1 or later.
Tradies App – Starter 5 stars with 1 rating | Free
Brought to you by an Australian development team (designed for “Tradies”), this app includes seven mini apps. The suite features a site diary, change orders, invoicing, quoting, requests for information, purchase orders and bid requests. The makers are planning to add a subcontractor agreement feature in the near future as well. The app will work on Android OS 2.2 and up.
Steel Shapes for Construction – 4.5 Stars with 12 ratings | $1.99
With information on more than a dozen different steel shapes, this app helps users determine which hot rolled steel shape is best suited for the job. From double angle to HSS round, the app suggests an appropriate steel size for the design. Results can be emailed or texted to colleagues on the job – or saved to the user’s phone clipboard. The app can run on any Android device with OS 1.5 or later.
Engineering Libraries – 4 stars with 167 ratings | Free
This free app is very popular in the Android market with more than 10,000 downloads to date. It provides reference notes for civil engineers working with steel, wood, concrete and several other materials. While it doesn’t have everything a civil engineer needs, it is a handy guide that includes reference notes for the EU, US, Canada and Australia. The app will only work on the Android OS 1.6 or a more recent version.