Explore the best free apps for architecture and design professionals
If you are an architect or a designer, you know the importance of having the right tools at your fingertips. Whether you need to create, view, edit, or share your designs, you want to do it quickly, easily, and accurately from anywhere. An iPhone or iPad device can be an indispensable tool for architecture and design fields with the right architectural apps. They allow you to access your files, sketch your ideas, measure your spaces, and collaborate with others anytime, anywhere.
This article will help you find the best free iOS apps for architects and designers in sketching, Inspiration and Reference, CAD drawings and Technical Drawing, 3D Modeling and Visualization, site inspections, and Project Management and Collaboration. We will also provide tips and suggestions for choosing the best apps for different needs and preferences.
Best Architecture Apps for Sketching
One of the most creative tasks for architects and designers is to sketch and draw their ideas. Sketching is a great way to express your vision, explore different options, and communicate your concepts. However, sketching on paper can be limiting and wasteful. That’s why apps that allow drawing and sketching for architects on mobile devices can be very beneficial, especially if you own an iPad Pro and Apple pencil.
This is a good sketching app that combines digital sketching with paper-like drawing on your iPhone or iPad. You can import images or PDFs, add layers, use realistic pens and pencils, adjust colors and opacity, and export or share sketches. This app is ideal for sketching over existing drawings or images, such as site plans, floor plans, or photos.
This is an excellent drawing app that offers a powerful and intuitive drawing experience on your iPhone. You can choose from hundreds of brushes, create custom brushes, use an advanced layering system, apply effects and filters, and record time-lapse videos. This app is perfect for drawing from scratch or enhancing your sketches with digital tools.
Concepts is one of the better architecture apps for iPhone that provides a flexible and precise sketching platform. It allows architects to draw vector-based sketches, use Infinite Canvas, adjust stroke weight and color, export data in various formats, and sync data with cloud storage. This app is suitable for drawing precise and scalable sketches that can be edited or modified later.
This is an app that lets you sketch 3D models on your iPhone. You can also import images or maps, use smart shapes and tools, apply materials and colors, perform solar analysis, and export or share models. This app is amazing for sketching 3D models quickly and easily.
Apps for Design Inspiration and Reference
As architects, you know how vital it is to stay up-to-date with the latest design trends, gather inspiration, and have quick access to valuable references. With these apps, you can explore a vast collection of stunning architectural projects, browse through a wide range of design styles, and discover innovative materials and construction techniques. Whether you need inspiration for your next project, want to explore historical architectural landmarks, or need quick access to reference materials while on-site, these apps are your go-to resource.
Architecture Dictionary is a free app that gives you access to more than 28,000 architecture terms and 9,000 images from authoritative sources. You can search for any word or phrase related to architecture, engineering, and design and get clear definitions and illustrations. You can save bookmarks, use voice search, see search suggestions, and adjust font size. The app also has 10,000+ audio pronunciations for both American and British speakers.
Architecture Dictionary is an excellent app for finding inspiration and references for architectural projects. You can browse thousands of architectural images, including photos, diagrams, and sketches of significant structures and elements.
Pinterest isn’t just for DIY enthusiasts. It also serves as an excellent resource for architects. You can find countless boards brimming with architectural and design inspiration. Moreover, you can explore user-curated collections of architectural design ideas. Additionally, Pinterest allows you to curate and organize your favorite concepts, which can help you discover new design trends and creative solutions.
Houzz is a home design app mostly known for Design and Home Improvement Inspiration. With an extensive collection of top-notch images showcasing impressive architectural and outdoor designs, user reviews and ratings to help guide your choices, and a thriving community sharing experiences and expertise, Houzz is the ultimate destination for all your design needs. Whether you are looking for design inspiration and practical advice, Houzz provides a wealth of inspiration and real-world examples to fuel your creativity and bring your visions to life.
Havenly: Interior Design
Havenly is a beautiful design app to find inspiration and references for architectural projects. With this app, you can browse rooms designed by Havenly’s interior designers, save and arrange your design concepts, and take a style quiz to discover your exclusive interior design style. Furthermore, the app’s camera feature allows you to scan documents, receipts, sketches, and other materials and save them as high-quality PDFs. The app’s widget is also available to display customized design ideas quickly and easily.
The iScape app is not only a landscape design tool but also a valuable resource for landscape designers creating stunning outdoor living spaces that match your taste and budget. With thousands of plant, object, and material options available, you can design your dream landscape in either 2D or 3D. Additionally, the app’s augmented reality feature allows you to visualize how your design will look in your actual yard. Furthermore, iScape provides inspiration and reference material from other users’ designs, and you can share your own creations with others.
Best Apps for CAD Drawings and 3D Modeling
One of the most common tasks for architects and designers is to create, view, edit, and share CAD drawings and 3D models. These files are essential for communicating your design concepts, presenting your projects, and making changes on the fly. However, working with these files on a desktop computer can be cumbersome and inconvenient. That’s why iPhone apps that allow you to work with CAD drawings and 3D models on your mobile device can be very useful.
This is an official app from Autodesk that lets you view, edit, create, and share DWG files on your iPhone. You can also access your files from cloud storage services, measure dimensions and areas, add annotations and comments, and work offline. This app is ideal for working with 2D drawings and basic 3D models.
This is an app from Graphisoft that enables you to explore and present BIM projects on your iPhone. You can navigate 2D and 3D views, access project documentation, measure distances and angles, and collaborate with others. This app is perfect for working with complex 3D models and BIM data.
This is the official Rhino 3dm viewer app that allows you to create 3D architecture and view 3D designs in various formats on your iPhone. You can also rotate, zoom, pan, and slice the models, as well as change the rendering mode and background color. This app is suitable for viewing 3D models without editing or creating them.
This is an app from Darf Design that integrates 3D models with augmented reality on your iPhone. You can visualize and interact with your designs in real scale and context, as well as record videos and take screenshots. This app is amazing for showcasing your designs in a realistic and immersive way.
Best Free iPhone Apps for Site Inspections
Another important task for architects and designers is to perform site inspections and measurements. These activities are essential for assessing the existing conditions, verifying the accuracy of the design, and identifying any issues or discrepancies. However, doing these activities manually can be time-consuming and error-prone. That’s why iPhone apps that help you perform site inspections and measurements on your mobile device can be very helpful.
This is an app that simplifies the process of creating and managing site inspection reports on your iPhone. You can take photos, add annotations and comments, assign tasks, generate PDF reports, and sync data with cloud storage. This app is ideal for creating professional and comprehensive site inspection reports.
Cam To Plan
This is an app that uses augmented reality to measure distances, areas, and angles on your iPhone. You can also draw floor plans, export data in PDF or PNG formats, and share results with others. This app is perfect for measuring spaces quickly and accurately without using a tape measure or a laser device.
Construction Master Pro
Construction Master Pro is a must-have app to solve tough math problems on the spot. This app allows you to work in and convert between various building dimensional formats, including feet-inch-fractions, decimal feet, decimal inches, yards, and metric. Moreover, you can perform a range of trigonometric functions, such as sine, cosine, tangent, and their inverses. With Construction Master Pro, you can easily measure angles, slopes, distances, areas, and volumes, which makes it an ideal tool for site inspections.
This is an app that uses LiDAR technology to scan rooms and create floor plans on your iPhone. You can also add doors, windows, furniture, and annotations, as well as export data in DXF or PDF formats. This app is suitable for creating detailed and accurate floor plans without using a camera or a sketch pad.
This is an app that enables you to control drones and capture aerial images on your iPhone. You can also create maps, models, and reports from the images, as well as analyze data and share insights with others. This app is amazing for capturing high-quality aerial views of large sites or buildings.
Apps for Project Management and Collaboration
Project management and collaboration apps are essential tools for architects and designers
to streamline workflow, enhance communication, and increase efficiency. These user-friendly apps offer features such as task management, file sharing, and real-time collaboration, making them indispensable for achieving project goals effectively and professionally.
Trello is an excellent online whiteboard application that empowers you to create boards, lists, and cards to manage your work. It is a helpful tool for planning your design sprints, sharing sketches and mockups, and obtaining feedback from clients and colleagues. Additionally, Trello’s built-in automation capabilities can streamline your workflow and help you save valuable time.
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage apps that lets you upload, save, and transfer photos, videos, documents, and other files to the cloud. It provides backup for your work, synchronizes your files across all your devices, and allows you to collaborate with colleagues and clients. Furthermore, you can preview more than 175 file types without downloading them and easily share your files or folders with others by copying and pasting a link.
If you want a simple and effective way to manage your architectural projects, ClickUp is the app for you. It lets you create tasks, assign them to your team, set due dates, track progress, and collaborate with your clients. You can choose from various perspectives to display your project timeline, including Gantt charts, Calendar, and Board views. Additionally, you can personalize your workflow with custom fields, statuses, and automation to streamline your processes and optimize productivity.
Fieldwire app is a powerful and efficient tool designed specifically for construction professionals. The app also allows to create and assign tasks to team members, track their progress, and set deadlines. You can use it to track and communicate any issues or changes on the job site with real-time notifications and messaging. You can also collaborate with your field team and efficiently manage multiple projects. You can use it to record your observations, issues, and feedback on the drawings and share them with your clients and contractors.
You can also create and send PDF inspection reports with your company logo. Fieldwire – Construction App is the ultimate app for architects who want to work smarter and faster. Overall, the Fieldwire – Construction App is an invaluable tool for builders as it simplifies project management, increases productivity, promotes effective communication, and ensures the success of construction projects.
This article shows you list of best architecture apps to help you improve your productivity, creativity, and collaboration in your work. However, not all apps are created equal. Some apps may have more features or functions than others, but they may also have more limitations or drawbacks. We hope this article has helped you find the best free iPhone apps for designers and architects. If you have any feedback or questions, please comment below. We would love to hear from you!