Technology has transformed the way we work, and we now have an app for everything. For example, the app stores are packed with the best architect apps to make your job easier. So, you need to just pick the one that works best for you.
The issue is that these architecture apps come in various shapes and forms. Some will help you create the sketches for the project. Others will create structured reports and take care of the financial parts of your job. The offer is limitless, so app users must choose wisely according to their priorities.
Note: If you are an architect looking to automate your invoices, contracts, proposals, taxes, and payments (all in one place), try Bonsai. Bonsai's online product suite for freelancers has everything you need to run your architect business. Access our library of templates and software today. Click here.
Best architect apps:
Homestyle Interior Design
Why Use Apps for Architects?
As someone who works in the construction industry, you probably pride yourself on the fact that you can easily create floor plans and multiple models for a building. However, technology has brought us to a good place. Even if you are in full control of the old ways, you may still benefit from the new ways.
Imagine if you could create professional architectural drawings in a couple of minutes rather than a few hours or days. Nowadays, you can get a simple app on your mobile device to automatically create dynamic layers for the job site.
Such apps for architects can save you a lot of time - time that you could spend on other more important tasks. These architecture apps can create interactive presentations and solve construction math problems without giving you any issues.
App Types that Architects Need
As an architect, you will realize that there is no app that rules them all. It's one app that can fit one or several specific purposes. When an app is created, here is how it is usually categorized:
Sketching and Drawing App
Sketching and drawing apps are for those who want to create drawings of their work. Rather than using stacks of paper, people prefer to create their work on something like an iPad, using an Apple pencil. The work created will go into local storage, so it will be much easier to "carry" around.
Viewing and Editing Tools
Sometimes, clients will like to see an actual image of what you are trying to bring to life. 3D models are very common nowadays, and you'll more likely to close a deal if the app generates a realistic render of the work or some scene animations. It will also give you a better idea of the structure that you will have to create.
Tools to Generate PDF Reports
While many may believe architecture is about drawing, there is also a fair amount of calculation going on. You'll need to engage in math and physics, and you will also have multiple reports to write. A powerful app for architectural projects should also have a data analysis feature, generating all the technical information that you would need for such a report.
There are several applications and tools that you can use to simplify your tasks. Here are the best architecture apps that most architects use for their projects. We'll start with the app we know best, our own.
The Bonsai Online Freelance tools suite can be a great asset to the financial part of your architectural business. You may create proposals based on the project that you have in mind, giving your client a better idea of the costs involved in this task. It can also help you with architecture invoicing and fees, ensuring you always receive your payment on time.
Invoicing, Proposal, Contract Tools
No matter the size of your business, providing architectural services will require you to get payments. This means that you need an app where you can send proposals and invoices, receive payments, and manage your cash flow.
The Bonsai Freelancer tool can help you in more ways than one. You have the Bonsai Cash feature to send invoices and manage your cash flow, but you also have Bonsai Tax that can help you manage the tax part.
This app type is essential for architects, especially if you are a freelancer and don't work under a specific company's employment. Make sure you get an app such as Bonsai that you can sync across multiple mobile devices. As an architect in the modern era, you'll probably need that.
Here are some tools you can get when you create a Bonsai account.
If you want to create a conceptual home design, design proposals, or a floor plan, this is the app for you. You can also find it on the web, and it makes it easy for you to reduce the time for the sale cycles and improve your closing rates. You can create full-scale drawings and complete proposals on-site in just two hours.
SketchUp Mobile Viewer
If you need digital sketching paper to put together a home design project, SketchUp can be a great helper. You can use it to create interactive layers in both 2D and 3D formats, allowing you to give your clients a walkthrough of the projects.
There are plenty of preset models out there that you can use, shortening the time needed to create a blueprint for the house. You also get a tape measure tool that allows you to view dimensions, making it one of the best architecture apps for detailed projects.
Your clients may want the best light in their homes - and for that to happen, you should know the sun's position at any moment. This is especially important if the home has a limited number of windows or even roof windows in certain positions. Sun Seeker can help you with that.
Plus, not only does it determine the solar path, but it also finds out the lunar path. This will help the home get the best light, regardless of the time of day.
ArchiSnapper is a good option for field reports, inspections, and site visit checklists. It takes away the need of having to use programs such as Microsoft Word or Excel, reducing the paperwork and allowing you to choose the file format.
Once you are done, you can store files locally on your smartphone. You can also add annotations and connect the app to other applications such as Bonsai to share the project data.
If you want a handy app to create floor plans, Scan Pro one can be very helpful. You use it to scan the space available on site, and the app automatically generates a format and design for the floors. After that, you can create virtual tours on 3D models, showing off your project in augmented reality.
Magic Plan is also a good option for estimates, floor plans, and field reports. Available on various platforms such as Android devices or even as an iPad app, you can use it to generate a floor plan and create an estimate for the final costs. The data can be synced into a centralized hub or a program such as Bonsai, depending on what you use to handle the finances of your business.
Morpholio Trace Pro
If you made multiple site visits and you want to trace over maps, documents, or pictures, then the Morpholio Trace Pro app is something that can come in handy.
You can enhance your hand drawing using AR, VR, and lots of in-app intelligence that can make your work much easier. You also have numerous custom stencils that can speed up your work so that you may finish your projects much faster.
AutoCAD Mobile App
Developed by AutoDesk, the AutoCAD mobile application is the perfect choice for reviewing files straight from your phone. You have a feature where you can view 2D and 3D models at any time, regardless of the software that you used to create them.
You can also measure dimensions, go through large-scale models, and even markup your designs across multiple devices, making it a good option for the freelance architect.
Perfect for architectural sketching and 3D modeling, this app can be used across multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows. Not only does it allow you to sketch, but it is also a great source of information.
You get integrated energy analysis, as well as a materials library where you can test out multiple materials (i.e., floorboards, paint colors, etc.). It even has a real-time collaboration tool packed with an in-app chat, where you can keep in touch with your clients and other professionals in the field.
Pixlr Express Free App
Are you an architect on a budget? In that case, the Pixlr app from Autodesk can prove to be an invaluable tool. You can edit and add professional modifications to your architectural pictures and play with the photos to create the perfect home project. It's a free tool but it has various features that the majority of similar apps do not have.
Do you need to see your 3D models on the go? In that case, you may benefit from using the Shapr3d app. It's also great for sketching, allowing you to switch between 2D and 3D models. Plus, not only can you use finger-based interaction with this guide, but you may also use Apple pencils with it.
If you are looking for 3D presentations or interactive AR technology, this app can prove very helpful. You can create and explore 3D models and offer your client interactive presentations of what you are planning to build.
You can use layers and models across different devices, toggle between the views, and store the images locally. This way, you will also get offline access to your documents no matter where you are.
Homestyle Interior Design
If your work involves creating the perfect home all the way to the furniture, then Homestyle Interior Design can help you with that. You need to take photographs during the site visits, and then the app will compile a set of furniture that would look best in the space.
This app will take your floor space in mind, as well as other architectural aspects of your home. After that, it will create a 3D model to show your client different furniture combinations, from sofas to light fixtures and many more.
Sketchbook has an intuitive interface that allows you to paint and draw your designs, making it a particularly good option for interior designers. Regardless of your skill level, this app is great for you - especially if you love to draw and bring your architectural projects to life yourself.
This is one of the few architecture apps that has a time-lapse recording tool, which allows you to record the sketching project from the beginning to the end. It's a perfect option for marketing your skills and showcasing your creation process on your website or social media.
Concepts uses vector-based sketching, a general choice for designers and architects. It is a highly flexible app that offers a digital sketching paper that resembles real paper. You can get this app on an iPhone, iPad, or even an iPad Pro.
Concepts is also an award-winning app, gaining recognition from both Google and Apple. The easy drawing and editing experience allows for faster sketches, cutting down the time that one would need to create the perfect project.
If your work involves art and exterior design, then you might want to try out Procreate. The app itself is not in the official architecture apps category, but it is great for digital artists with an interest in architecture.
You have more than 150 brushes to choose from, and the advanced layering system allows you to create one project status and design at a time.
The Bottom Line
Being an architect can sometimes be troublesome work. However, with the right app, things can take a much easier turn. Whether you want to create from scratch, update floor plans, take care of the interior design or handle your budget, there is an app for each one of these tasks.