Ipad in construction office/field.

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by mtl0415, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. mtl0415

    mtl0415 iPF Noob

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    Hello,

    This is my first post and while I am a heavy windows user I have been tasked with testing an Ipad and apps for office use. I'm not trying to start a Apple vs. Windows war, I can only speak to my experiences and look for advice to see if an Ipad is the right choice.

    I work in an architecture and engineering firm and we do a lot of full time on site construction observation. There are a ton of photos and equally as many daily reports an logs. We are trying to eliminate the traditional binder and notepad/clipboard. We are also heavily dependent on Microsoft office. On any given day I will run any or all of the following applications, full versions on a windows, pen based tablet.

    Word
    Excel
    OneNote
    Autocad
    Sketchbook
    Some sort of Remote Access

    When it comes to Word or Excel, I am aware there are many Ipad options to chose from but i have heard formatting and or excel formulas can sometimes get messed up. That could become a huge problem

    Autocad and Sketchbook have Ipad apps, so I don't think that should be an issue. I need a stylus that users can sketch with accuracy, mark up existing pdf drawings and preferably not have to zoom in and out to do so. I believe the Adonit Jot stylus addresses motor control and accuracy when drawing. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

    So far the biggest problem has been OneNote. I have experimented with the Ipad version of One Note, Evernote and GoFormz. Here is what I have found
    OneNote replicates a traditional binder very well It allows us to send our typical forms to a page, however digital ink isn't available (at least in the free version I am testing) and it is completely lost when translating back and forth from Ipad to PC

    Goformz is fantastic. It allows us to replicate our forms perfectly with text fields and areas for photos and can be sent to Evernote pretty well. The problem I have is that I may be standing 50' in the air on scaffolding and need to write notes or draw a detail on the form. Type based input can be a challenge or impractical.

    Evernote doesn't seem to take accept digital note taking. Penultimate seems like a good solution, but it doesn't seem to allow us to import our standard report forms.

    I haven't tried any remote desktop connection apps yet but keeping in mind we would be going through Windows based systems, I'll take any input here.

    That more of less skims the surface of what I need. I think I'm in the right area, but working out the details will make or break the final decision.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Aquaticz

    Aquaticz iPF Novice

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    I work as a DSA inspector California. After trying several ways of doing things I decided to go the sync route. I tried sugar sync..... And then opened an account with Dropbox :)
    When you get right down to it you need maybe three apps
    1. PDF EXPERT - this thing s a life saver. Has many of the features that acrobat pro has and as u know in constructionPDF is king.

    2. You need a photo app that will add the date to your photos I tried a lot of them and settled on photo date.
    Second choices s an app called photo name. A bit more robust, it uses captions where you can enter quite a bit of text

    3. Apple ear phone
    Diction works much better this way

    The problem working I the field is managing your data on a Verizon hot spot I used 83GB IN ONE CYCLE....LOL
    Why because I made a mistake using the hot spot to upload to sync service... Do it on a regular Internet connection so you are not limited.

    Two days ago I went to AT&T where I have accounts.
    I bought an iPhone 5
    . I bought it because of the personal hot spot feature. It rocks.

    So what I really want to tell you is do not use the auto upload feature, each picture is over 1 mb. I take a minimum of 50 photos a day ( documentation).
    Disable in Dropbox until you a back in range of a
    Hard line connection.

    This way all your apps can sync and you will not burn up the GB. It's the photos that burn it up.

    I would have to say that my dailies have never been easier. I save a lot of time with this pad. I easily save an hour a day and at the end of the month collecting documentation is a snap, I save hours.
    I might also add that I have spent many hours trying to figure out better ways to manage documents.
    Construction will never be the same.... I receive inspection requests via email..... I can respond very easily using PDF expert, I can write deviation and field notices and insert photos all from the field - quicker than I can do it on a laptop. I dictate most of my reports and the sync thing is awesome....


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
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  3. Gabriel1

    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Guys, this is a great thread, being in construction myself I use a variety of apps during the course of each day and to be quite honest I've learnt more from these couple of posts than I can provide in the way of help however, can I suggest an app that might be of use to you.

    Hazard Manager (solo version is free, 3 is a paid app), whilst it's mainly designed around H&S inspections it allows you to import drawings (I've only ever tried as PDF so I'm not sure if dwg's, etc will import) of your site then add notes as you go around the site. I use it for many different aspects as well as H&S as the note taking function in relation to a drawing is just so useful......

    Anyway, here is the paid version

    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/hazard-manager-3/id422365362?mt=8

    The Archangel
     
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  4. TheRambler

    TheRambler Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I hope this thread carries on!!, I too work in the Construction Industry, and with Health and Safety the way it is at the moment, unfunded and looking to make a quick buck (UK) that app looks very helpful Gabriel, I'm off out now but I will be checking the other apps out when I get back, I'm using my iPad at work more and more these days, so I would like to get a few more apps I can use to help me. I use Autocad a lot when planning out floors and roofs, it alsoassists me with wardrobe door sizes. I didn't relise there was an app that worked on iPad, is it just a reader or can you actually use autocad functions on iPad?

    Looking forward to seing where this thread goes next.
     
  5. Gabriel1

    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you type in Autocad into the App Store search engine not only do you get Autocad WS but lots of other useful looking apps.

    The Archangel
     

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