ENR asked Apple to query its developer community in a quest to help idenfity the most popular construction apps in the App Store.

It was a tricky call.

Although plenty of apps are considered useful in the A/E/C realm, Apple doesn't have a specific A/E/C category as it does for business and productivity. But it's fair to say that these are among the more noted amid a rise in construction industry apps, and our list is culled from a few categories. It also represents apps that ENR editors tested and noted for the list as well.

The app list comes as Apple is ramping up its volume purchasing program, which the company says can make it easier for construction firms to purchase a suite of essential apps in bulk and then distribute them to staff members in the field, rather than going through the App Store. (In the future, ENR will survey the best construction apps for Android platforms.)


1. BuildCalc

by 42nd Parallel


There's a reason that construction pros call this the best custom calculator—it does a lot. Key features are advanced baluster, stairs and hip/valley functions and even more support from its makers.


2. Construction Calculator

by Infinity Softworks


Developers of this app say it combines18 simple spreadsheet-like templates for estimating materials and project planning.It now has linear, area and volume unittypes for both feet and inches.


3. Constructor Master Pro

by Calculated Industries


Built for all the subsets of A/E/C sectors,this app features the same engine that powers the industry-standard advanced construction-math calculators from Calculated Industries, with more user guides.


4. Material estimator

by Calculated Industries


Another handy app by Calculated Industries, this one is geared for estimating professionals who need to estimate materials and costs for concrete, fences, decks, bricks, tile, flooring, gravel, painting, drywall and paneling.



by Auman Software LLC


Now this is one plumb app. This tool turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a virtual laser level. The latest features include a two-finger gesture to activate live angles.



by David Homes


Homes says [steel hd] for the iPad combines all the company's structural-steel reference apps available for the iPhone as well as all libraries and most common British sections.



by David Homes


This app is a subset of its GuageFinder app. The developer calls it a fast weight, volume and mil calculator for sheets, flats and wires.


8. ICC Market

by International Code Council Inc.


The ICC Market app gives anyone accessto International Code Council reference-book titles from anywhere. Titles can be purchased, accessed immediately and stored for reference.


9. AutoCAD WS

by Autodesk Inc.


AutoDesk provides this to customers of its AutoCAD WS software. It helps users view and work with DWG files directly on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and annotate quickly when they are out in the field.


10. SmartBidNet

by JBKnowledge Technologies


Billed as a commercial constructing bid invitation management app, this is aimedat simplifying vendor interactions by centralizing and storing all pertinent bid information.


11. Bentley Navigator

by Bentley Systems Inc.


Just released, this is Bentley's iPad version of the desktop software, Bentley Navigator V8i. Markups in multiple formats just got easier. The download is free for current Bentley customers.


12. Projectwise Explorer

by Bentley Systems Inc.


Also just released, this iPad version of Bentley's ProjectWise Explorer helps users create work packages from documents stored in ProjectWise using a variety offile types.


13. Penultimate

by Cocoa Box Design


One of the more popular and easiest handwriting apps for iPad, Penultimate'snew features help users move, cut, copyand paste ink in the app as they takenotes and sketch. And it's now on sale.


14. DropBox

by Dropbox


A useful online service for anyone tryingto transfer large digital files without the FTP approach, this app update has fixed a few bugs. It is also a popular sharing app.


15. Contractor's App Box

by CD&V Applications


This app boasts the most commonly used forms in the construction industry and helps mobile contractors and road warriors get paperwork finished using time-saving auto-populated fields.


16. Vela Mobile

by Vela Systems Inc.

Price varies

This app is used by major construction firms to track commissioning, quality control, punchlisting and to document critical information on jobsites. It was noted in many online forums as a favorite of construction pros for field management and was the first mobile app for construction to hit the iTunes store shortly after the iPad launched. (See ENR's story: Software Roundup: Make Way for App Builders in Construction)

Let us know which apps you like and we'll keep adding them to our list.

--ENR Editors