I am almost 40, I cant believe it. In my many years I have seen construction technology evolve into one guy can be running an entire construction business from his truck. Today we will talk about the Apps of the trade and how they help make your day productive, saving you time and money. I will try to cover iOS, Android, Windows and OSX, although if you are using windows there is no hope for you! J.K.
What are Apps?
In the old days you used to have to insert a disk , enter a license key and install a program. It usually took about 10 min or so, that is if your CD drive worked. Then just when you needed it the most your Windows PC would crash and you would lose all your data and be in a huge bind. Luckily Steve Jobs invented the iPhone and the App Store. Basically Apps are tiny programs that you download through the App store. Very simple, painless and easy. Thanks to capitalism, Google came along and built an Operating System called Android and their own App store called Google Play. Other manufactures like Samsung, HTC and Motorola were all able to build iPhone/iPad like devices of their own. Now smart phones are common in the workplace.
Laptop computers are bulky, Windows is problematic and like the desktop PC it is slowly fading out in favor of mobile devices and tablets. Even the ever so popular Netbook has fizzled out. The good thing about apps is that they are simple and easy to install and generally usually work well and can transition from a phone to a tablet with ease. When was the last time you turned on your phone or tablet and it didn’t boot up? or lost your information? That hardly ever happens unless it is physically damaged or submerged in water. Most Apps wirelessly back up your data to the cloud or your computer making them reliable.
Assuming you are still with me we will continue on to the Apps:
Invoice2go – iOS, Android, OSX and Windows
I have been using Invoice2go for years. I like it for its simplicity. It is a good reliable, easy to use program, but lacks a job timer, which to me is not a big deal. It has the ability to add products and create estimates. The invoices look professional with the included templates and you can even insert your own logo into them. They have a cloud option so you never lose your data. This program is available on all major platforms including: iOS, Android, OSX and Windows.
Fresh Books – Cloud-based with an iOS app.
Fresh books is a cloud based alternative to Quick Books. The have a mobile App and have features like time tracking and expenditures. If you have less than 3 clients it is free and chances are if you only have 3 clients your business is lacking. You can instantly get paid with Pay Pal, but of course they take a percentage.
Google Earth – iOS, Android, OSX and Windows.
Google earth has some amazing features and if you pay for it you get features that save you money. For example, you can figure out square footage from a satellite map for estimating. This is great for plow, landscape and asphalt companies. The list goes on.
Construction Estimator – iOS, OSX
Construction Estimator for iOS is a complete estimator. You can add things like pictures to your projects and you can also purchase construction cost books or create custom ones. The ability to send out PDF estimates on the spot will give you the edge over the competition.
Measuring and leveling –
Easy Measure – iOS
This is one of those cool Apps where you can show your friends and they will respect you and be amazed at what tech advancements you wield. It has a free and a paid app. It works ok if you calibrate it right.
DeWALT Mobile Pro – iOS
Mobile Pro is a fully functional construction calculator. It has a lot of reference materials and gives you access to a lot more plug ins for almost any trade. They even have a business and finance plug in. Plug ins are available through an in-App purchase and are $9.99 or under each.
Construction Master 5 – iOS
This is a great calculator for anyone in the building trade. It is easy to use and you can hold down on any key for specific help for that function. So for dummies like me it is awesome. $19.99