Home Tech 11 Best Architecture Apps To Get Started in 2021

11 Best Architecture Apps To Get Started in 2021

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If you are looking for the best architecture apps, you have landed on the right webpage because, in this article, I am going to share a list of the best smartphone apps for architecture.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started –

Being an engineer, I can understand that it is not easy to carry our high-performance laptops or PC whenever we do a site visit or go to meet our clients. It is not convenient at all.

Earlier, we had no other choice except to carry our machine with us to make quick changes depending on the client’s requirements or demand of the moment. But time has changed, and now thanks to app developments, our smartphone can help us a lot in the process.

Right now, there are plenty of great architecture apps that can make it easier for you to view and alter 3D models, share work with your clients, make professional sketches, revaluate total expenses, and most importantly, save your time.

But again, it is very confusing to select the right apps because there are plenty of them, and most of them are not worth your time. Therefore, after testing so many apps, we have created this Best Architecture Apps list For our readers.

So, here we go –

Best Architecture Apps – Our Top Pick 👌👌

For CAD Drawing and 3D ModelingCAD drawing and 3D modeling are among the essential tasks for architecture, and to serve that purpose, we have a few different apps –

1. AutoCAD – DWG Viewer & Editor

AutoCAD is one of the leading software for designing and drafting 3D models, and mostly, architects use it as a go-to tool. If you also use AutoCAD for drawing, designing, and 3D modeling, AutoCAD Mobile App would be the best app for you.

Best Architecture Apps

The app features a very easy-to-use interface and looks like a very simplified version of the desktop software. However, the good thing is that it doesn’t lack so many features from the desktop version of the tool.

AutoCAD Mobile App supports DWG drawings that you can directly download/upload through the web using Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, or other cloud storage solutions or from your local smartphone storage. The best thing is that the app is available for both Android and iOS.

It is a premium app that comes with a 7-day free trial. After that, you have to pay $55 per year if you want to continue with the app.

To be frank, AutoCAD Mobile App is not the replacement for AutoCAD desktop software because it lacks some notable features. Instead, you can use it as a substitute, primarily for loading your completed drawings, making some alters, and using it for references.

Reasons to use it:-

  • It allows you to view and edit DWG files, and you can upload them from your device storage, online cloud storage solutions, or email.
  • You can use it to draw CAD drawings on the go.
  • It features a CAD editor that can be used to modify and mark up AutoCAD drawings.
  • You can import geographical values from Leica Disto.
  • Features some advanced technical drawing and editing tools such as arc, offset, and others.
  • You can select, move, rotate, and scale objects to view coordinates and properties.
  • It allows you to draw and edit shapes using the object snap function or keypad input.
  • It supports offline mode, and later you can sync all your work online.

Reasons to avoid:-

  • It isn’t as fully functional as the PC version.
  • Requires a powerful smartphone and takes a lot of storage.
  • Editing and drawing is a quite complex and time taking task, especially compared to the desktop client.

Download App on Google Play Store

Download App on Apple App Store

2. BIMx

BIMx is another cloud-integrated project management tool for architects that ranked 2nd in our Best Architecture Apps list. If you primarily use ArchiCAD for your modeling, consider BIMx as a better solution for you instead of the AutoCAD Mobile application.

BIMx is the best choice as an on-site presentation tool for building informational models and architectural documentation.

The best thing about this tool is that it lets you access, present, and share your detailed 2D and 3D models with clients, site managers, and engineers. Plus, it also allows you to make on-site measurement adjustments as per needs.

This app further features a presentation mode that can be used to explain your model and your idea of how you will execute it. The photo-realistic mode allows you to see how your design will look in the real world, which is an excellent feature of this app, in my opinion.

You can further control what information, such as web links, database entries, specific quantities, and other data a particular user can see. The app supports both Android and iOS devices along with Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS.

Reasons To Use:-

  • It allows you to make on-site design decisions and update your model as per requirements on the go.
  • It gives you complete control over building information modelings such as 3D models, construction drawings, schedules, quantities, elements, and space information.
  • It features a very easy-to-use user interface and navigation system that makes it a great choice for on-site collaboration and presentation tools. 
  • It allows you to hyperlink 2D and 3D models, and you can use the fly and walk mode to see visual representations.
  • It supports Google Cardboard VR on phones and also supports Google Cloud Print.
  • BIMx Hyper-model allows you to integrate 2D and 3D building project navigation easily.
  • You can have all the essential data at your fingertip, and you can make essential adjustments on the go.
  • It comes with a free version with an in-app purchase.

Reasons To Avoid:-

  • It is only for ArchiCAD users as it doesn’t support any other CAD drawing software.
  • It requires a lot of storage and resources.
  • Pricing is a bit confusing because it has two options for in-app purchases (PRO and share a model). Go with the PRO version.

Download App on Google Play Store

Download App on Apple App Store

3. Shapr3D

If you own an iPad and don’t mind investing some bucks in a powerful 3D modeling tool, then Shapr3D can be an excellent option for you. Moreover, you can use it on Windows and Mac laptops as well, but we will only talk about the iPad application in this article.

Starting with the user interface, it is very simple and easy to use. It feels like drawing on paper but with more tools in your hand. You can use your Apple’s stylus to draw.

Plus, you can use hand gestures such as pinch, squeeze, and others to move your designs accordingly.

Shapr3D - Think & Design in 3D

The algorithm is designed with mathematical precision, making it very precise, especially for 2D designs. The smart grid automatically adapts your active drawing area to make your design very proportional and accurate. So, for 2D modeling and designing, this is going to be the best app.

And not only 2D modeling, but the app also supports 3D modeling and does the 3D modeling job very well. However, the biggest drawback of the app, in my opinion, is the cost of using the app.

It costs you around $29 a month. The features indeed justify the price you pay for it, but it is not for everyone. If you do a lot of drawing on your iPad, it can surely be a great choice.

Reasons to use:-

  • Allow you to draw 2D sketches with the help of the Apple stylus and iPad on the go.
  • You can create 3D models with the help of sketches and other intuitive modeling tools.
  • It lets you import and edit existing XT, STEP, IGES, or SHAPR models and lets you work on DXF and DWG reference images.
  • To export your work, you can go with hi-res XT, STEP, STL, OBJ, 2D DXF, 2D DWG, USDZ, and other file formats.
  • It supports offline functionality and allows you to store files in local storage.
  • You can view and animate your models in a real-life environment with the help of Augmented Reality.
  • The user interface is pretty simple and easy to use. Even beginners can learn how to use this tool very easily.
  • There is a vast knowledge base of tutorials and guides that can help you learn professional skills.
  • The tech support is quite friendly and very responsive.

Reasons to avoid:-

  • Not suitable for doing advanced-level 3D work.
  • Pricing is quite costly.
  • Exclusively available for iPads only.
  • It lacks some professional-level features that you can get on 3D CAD desktop software.

Best Architecture Apps for Site Inspections – After 3D modeling and CAD drawing, another important thing that architects have to do is site inspection. Here we have a few apps that can help you with a site inspection.

Download App on Apple App Store

4. ArchiSnapper

Drafting field reports can be very time-consuming and also be a very hectic task, but not for the people who have ArchiSnapper on their smartphones.

ArchiSnapper is a great tool that lets you use your smartphone to make on-site reports with photos, texts, sketches, comments, annotations, and assignees on floor plans.

Best Architecture Apps 1

The best thing is that the reports get automatically generated and can be edited later for further changes. This way, you can save a lot of time and effort in making reports manually. You can even use voice dictation to make the process faster.

All the field reports and punch lists that you have made on-site directly get synced with your online account so that you can later modify them and share them with other co-workers.

The app is available for both Android and iOS platforms, and on PC, you can access the web portal where all your synchronized reports will be stored.

It is a premium app that charges you $25 a month, which may be a deal-breaker for some but overall, I would say it is a great app.

Reasons to use:-

  • It can save a lot of your time by helping you make on-site reports quickly.
  • The app is pretty easy to set up and use and allows you to pinpoint your observations easily so that you and other co-workers can have clarity.
  • It generates professional-level reports within seconds, and you can easily share them with your project team.
  • You can use it literally on any device.
  • Allow you to edit your reports, in case you want to make some changes afterward.

Reasons to avoid:-

  • The online editing tool is not up to the mark and needs some improvements.
  • It has very limited editing/drawing functions that limit you from making changes afterward.
  • You cannot edit reports offline, which means you cannot use them on a plane.

Download App on Google Play Store

Download App on Apple App Store

5. CamToPlan – AR measurement/tape measure

If you want to calculate the dimensions of any space or area, then CamToPlan can be an excellent app for you. It uses your smartphone’s camera to measure the length, making it a faster and easier solution than using a laser meter or other measuring tools.

CamToPlan demo - Vertical & Horizontal

The measurement data on this app is quite accurate, and therefore, it can be a handy tool for builders and architects. It allows you to take horizontal and vertical measurements, and users can draw 3D measurements and later export them to PDF, DXF, or PNG files.

CamToPlan uses AR that lets users export measurements that they have taken in the form of metric or imperial units. The app works pretty nicely and efficiently and lets you plan your visualization according to the measurements.

Reasons to use:-

  • It makes it easy and fast to take measurements of an area or surface.
  • You can use it to create floor plans for your house, apartment, or flat within no time.
  • The app is pretty easy to use and doesn’t take much space on your smartphone.
  • It allows you to export all your data in PNG, PDF, and DXF file formats.
  • The app is available for both Android and iOS

Reasons to avoid:-

  • The data is nearly accurate, but not 100%.
  • The free plan is very limited and features advertisements.
  • Your room/area requires good lighting to get accurate data.

Best Apps for Sketching- Sketching is another important thing as it helps you craft your ideas on paper and share them with your co-worker. For this purpose, you can try these apps.

Download App on Google Play Store

Download App on Apple App Store

6. Morpholio Trace Pro

Morpholio Trace Pro is an excellent sketching application for iOS users, especially for those who own iPad devices. You can use it with an Apple stylus to instantly draw PDF drawing sets, maps, 2D and 3D models, floor plan ideas, and other things.

The thing that makes it stand out amongst other sketching apps is that it features a scale tool that lets you sketch straight lines between two points. This way, it saves a lot of your time and, most importantly, lets you design perfect sketches.

Best Architecture Apps 2

The app has even been awarded as the best sketch and drawing app by Apple. Therefore, if you want a solution for sketching on your iOS device, this can be a great choice. However, note that the app comes with in-app purchases that cost you $7.99 a month or $19.99 a year.

Reasons to use:-

  • It lets you easily sketch professional-level drawing on your iPad and iOS devices with the help of an Apple stylus.
  • It features a bunch of tools such as pens, brushes, stencils, scale tools, moveable layers, and others that make sketching easier and faster.
  • It lets you drag in 3D models and auto-set perspective grids.
  • It uses AR to draw live sketches in perspective.
  • SmartFill feature lets you calculate and sketch areas within no time.
  • It boasts a lot of intuitive features that can make drawing much easier and more fun.

Reasons to avoid:-

  • Only available for iOS platform.
  • The free version lacks so many features.
How to Start Your First Drawing - Morpholio Trace Pens & Layers Beginner Tutorial to Sketch & Draw

Download App on Apple App Store

7. Concepts: Sketch, Note, Draw

Concepts is a vector-based sketching app that allows you to take your creative work to the extremes. The features on the app allow you to explore even more possibilities than you can have with a pen and paper.

This is why this app is quite popular worldwide, and architects around the globe use it to design their concepts.

The best thing about the app is that it lets you control almost every aspect of your design. You can use the real-scale paper size guides, layout guides, sharp zoom, a wide range of pens and brushes, graph papers, and much other stuff to craft your design.

Concepts Sketching App for Android and Chrome OS

The app uses a powerful algorithm that allows you to use the precision mode. This mode lets you easily create perfect angles, lines, arcs, ellipses, rectangles, and many other things. This way, it helps you save a lot of your time while making accurate designs.

The app is available for both Android and iOS platforms, making it the best choice for Android users for sketching since Morpholio Trace Pro is only available for iOS.

The app is free with limited features, but I suggest you opt for the premium version to use the app at its best.

Reasons to use:-

  • This Best Architecture Apps is very user-friendly and lightweight.
  • It features plenty of realistic pens, brushes, markers, layout guides, paper size guides, graph paper, and much more that can take your drawing experience to the next level.
  • Precision mode performs pretty great.
  • You can export all your designs in high-quality PDFs or for other editing and designing apps like AutoCAD, Adobe Illustrator, etc.
  • The app offers limitless canvas that means you can be as creative as you can be.

Reason to avoid:-

  • Most of the features are hidden behind the paywall.

Download App On Google Play Store

Download App on Apple App Store

8. Autodesk FormIt

Autodesk FormIt is another product by Autodesk, the same company behind AutoCAD. It is architectural modeling software that allows you to do BIM-based 3D sketching. You can also use the app for the conceptual design phase.

The tool aims to give architects the ability to sketch out their ideas and visualization in 3D at the beginning of the project. However, the app is only available for iOS and Windows platforms and not for Android smartphones. Android users can use the web-based version, but that is not convenient at all.

The best thing about AutoDesk FormIt is that it lets you use the real-world information of your site so that you can plan your project and design accordingly. You can get some essential information such as solar analysis and energy analysis before the initial stage of your project.

Although there is a free version of the app, the free version lacks so many essential features. Sadly, the only way to use FormIt Pro is by opting for AEC Autodesk Collection, which is the biggest deal-breaker, in my opinion.

Reasons to use:-

  • It can help you create models and designs directly on your iOS device with the help of 3D sketching tools.
  • FormIt Pro features plenty of features that make 3D modeling, designing, and sketching very easy.
  • Location-aware shadow tool lets you understand how the sun and its shadows will be on your site.
  • The energy analysis tool can help you understand and optimize building and glazing performance.
  • The solar analysis tool can help you visualize the solar impact of heat gain on the surface of your model.
  • Real-time collaboration tools make it easier to share your designs with your team and clients.

Reasons to avoid:-

  • Only available for iOS smartphone devices.
  • FormIt Pro is not solely available. You either have to go for AEC Autodesk Collection or stick with the free version.

Additional Utility Apps- While the apps mentioned above are essential for architects, here are a few apps that can help you improve your workflow.

Download App on Apple App Store

9. Sun Locator

Sun Locator is a sun tracking app that tracks the solar path and shows you in 3D with the help of Augmentation Reality. This app can be a very handy tool to decide the right orientation of your buildings.

Sun Locator - Predict the Sun Position

This app shows you data such as solar paths, the winter and summer solstice paths, the timing of sunrise and sunset, and other things. You can select your site’s geographical location, and the app will show you all these data in a highly interactive augmented 3D view.

You can use this data to understand how the sunlight will drop on your building and how you can design your building’s orientations for your best.

Reasons to use:-

  • It features a 3D sundial that lets you understand the position of the sun, the shadow directions, and length over the day, month, and year on an interactive augmented 3D map.
  • The augmented reality sun and moonlight simulation allow you to fast forward to sunset and sunrise for any time of the day of the year.
  • It can be beneficial to design the orientation of your building.

Reasons to avoid:-

  • The free version is ad-supported and lacks so many features.
  • Available for Android platform only.

Download App on Google Play Store

Download App on Apple App Store

10. Construction Master Pro

Construction Master Pro is nothing but a calculator app, but unlike a regular calculator app, this can help you solve some complex construction math problems.

This is the main reason Construction Master Pro is quite popular among engineers, architects, and other construction-oriented professionals.

Construction Master Pro for Android Smartphone

The app includes full trigonometric functions such as cosine, sine, tangent, arcsine, arctangent, arccosine. Not only that, but you also get quick and easy tools for the completion of layouts, bids, plans, and estimates.

In addition to that, it supports many units of measurement such as advanced feet inch fraction, inch fraction, decimal feet, yards, decimal inches, and metric system. Overall, it is a great app to calculate complex maths for professional architects and engineers.

The best thing is that the app is available for both Android and iOS platforms. It is a premium app that means you have to pay a one-time fee of $24.99, which is, in my opinion, a bit costly. You can buy multiple technical calculators at this price. But since it will be a one-time purchase, I think you should give it a try.

Reasons to use:-

  • The app makes complex construction math calculations pretty easy.
  • It features full trigonometric functions.
  • It supports many units of measurement.
  • Advanced stair layouts make it easy to calculate risers, treads, stringer length, incline angle, and other parameters.
  • Very easy and convenient to use.

Reasons to avoid:-

  • The pricing is a bit costly.

Download App on Google Play Store

Download App on Apple App Store

Closing Comments

There you have it – a list of the best architecture apps for smartphones.

Carrying your powerful laptop on the construction site or to the client is not convenient and unnecessary in the current world. Technology is rapidly growing, and smartphones have become a part of our life.

Our smartphones have changed the need to carry PCs and laptops in many industries, and the construction industry is one of them.

Currently, we have so many apps that can replace the need to take your computers or laptops to the site. The apps mentioned in this article can surely help you with that.

With that said, here I am wrapping up this article. If you think we forgot to add any app that deserves to be on this list, let us know by leaving a comment below. Our team will try to respond ASAP.