Each iteration of the iPad brings a new round of essential apps, and the most recent upgrade is no exception. Tablets have become indispensable tools in many industries, but especially for gadget-loving engineering professions. Which apps are best for you depends on what you want to accomplish and on your specialty, but these five have broad applicability and can see use across a wide spectrum of positions.
The Engineering Professional app is a multi-discipline tool that compiles more than 650 formulas into an easy-to-use app essential for engineering students and continuing education. Civil engineers, chemical engineers and mechanical engineers will get their money’s worth from this affordably priced app. All formulas can be saved as favorites for easy access to the ones you use most often. Developer Multieducator, Inc. plans to expand the app’s utility by adding even more formulas in the future.
Another app from Multieducator, Inc., this one is geared to mechanical engineers, but it has a lot of crossover potential for electrical and HVAC engineers. With more than 300 formulas specific to mechanical engineering, including calculations involving load-bearing, shear stress and heat dissipation, the latest version of this app is essential for students and professionals alike.
Engineering Unit Conversion
If the teams working on the Hubble Space Telescope had had this app, they may have spared the expense and difficulty of correcting the optics later. This app instantly and easily converts units of measurement, but the real genius of it is its organization. Units are grouped into more than 70 categories to allow easier access and quicker results. If you work with a combination of SI and English units, this tool is invaluable.
If you went to school more than a decade or two ago, you remember the chunky old graphics calculators that took up half your desk. This app does tricks those bulky boxes never imagined in a seamless, easy-to-use interface. A full-function scientific calculator and a keyboard customized for entering equations quickly and easily make this app a standout in a crowded field. The app also takes screenshots and lets you display results on an external monitor or TV, so it’s also an outstanding tool for teachers.
An on-the-fly CAD program, FingerCAD lets you draw designs with a fingertip, then zoom, pan and rotate to get different views of your images. A broad color palette and easy-to-use color picker lend dimension to your drawings while standard CAD tools make it simple to shift between the iPad and your desktop or laptop system. Portrait and landscape orientations also add to its utility. While the app isn’t yet perfect and does have some improvements that can be made to the available command interface, so few apps exist with its functionality that it deserves a mention. If you’ve been looking for an on-the-go CAD tool, this one might be for you.