Useful Apps for Construction
July 16, 2012
Apps continue to make an impact in construction. Whether it’s to help streamline the document approval process in the field, manage a complicated workflow, or simply manage content more efficiently, mobile apps are answering the call in construction in more ways than one.
Useful apps for construction come in many forms. Alongside many of the leading software providers that have adapted their software to the app format, other technology providers are delivering specific apps for this market as well. A few of the notable ones to emerge in the past few weeks are targeting the need to manage content.
Field ID, www.fieldid.com, Toronto, Ont., provides inspection and safety management software for Web and mobile devices. The company recently launched a mobile safety inspection application for the Android operating system, which allows users to manage safety inspections, job site audits, and various other compliance tasks using Android-based smartphones and tablets.
Matt Paterson, chief product officer, Field ID, says the company has a vision to make safety and inspection compliance a simplified process. Given the advent of connected devices, coupled with the growing marketshare of Android, it presents an ideal time for such an app. With Field ID for Android, says Paterson, the company is able to deliver on its promise of 'safety made simple' on all of the leading platforms for tablet and smartphone devices.
According to the company, its technology is already in use by thousands of safety directors and managers in various sectors, including construction. Smartphone and tablet users who download Field ID from the Google Play Store without an existing Field ID account can request a free trial of the software.
Another app that could have significant impact for users in the building space is Accusoft USB Scanner from Accusoft, www.accusoft.com, Tampa, Fla. The company provides technology to help with content management, and this new app allows users with Android-based devices the ability to connect a scanner to their device via USB.
The application allows users to scan single or multi-page documents to PDF, JPEG, TIFF, or BMP formats. From there, it will allow for sharing with apps like Gmail.
Another positive aspect to the app is the ability to scan documents directly from within such resources as Gmail, Google Drive, Evernote, Box, and Skype. This eliminates a step in the scan process, alleviating users with the task of launching a separate app in order to scan.
As noted by Tom Setzer, director of recognition, Accusoft, users are able to save their scanned document or image and share them via Gmail, Box, or any installed application that supports the standard Android sharing. He adds, "In addition, if while using the Evernote app on an Android device users wish to add a scanned document to their note, they can press the Attach button and choose the Accusoft USB Scanner app. Once the document is scanned, it will automatically attach that image to the note and return the user to Evernote."
Such an app could be a nice piece to integrate into existing workflow on content management, helping to provide a higher level of document accessibility, while streamlining the rate at which documents can be transmitted back to the office.
The company lists such markets as on-site building or home inspectors as among those with which the app would provide a good fit.
Overall, apps continue to have a positive influence on the construction market. As more dedicated construction apps continue to hit the market and a growing number of contractors use connected devices out in the field, the potential for increased productivity will skyrocket.