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    Using tablets in the field

    Our CA guys are itching to get iPads.
    Everyone thinks it would be really cool, but no one actually knows what they'd use it for.
    So, what are people using their iPads for?
    • Downloading PDFs?
    • Remoteing in to their PCs?
    • Design Review markups?
    • Angry Birds?

    I should mention, too, that we use Newforma to manage our transmittals and RFIs.
    Dave Plumb
    BWBR Architects; St Paul, MN

    CADsplaining: When a BIM rookie tells you how you should have done something.

    #2
    Video Blog on Construction Field Management Software | Vela Systems
    Cliff B. Collins
    Registered Architect
    The Lamar Johnson Collaborative Architects, St. Louis, MO
    Autodesk Expert Elite

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      #3
      Newforma has an iPad app (here's some info on it). It can be used for punch lists, etc., but there's also a Design Review app for the iPad that's great for marking up drawings (better than the Newforma version, in my opinion). Both apps are free by the way, but the Newforma one is really only of use if you've got Newforma back at the office. With the Newforma app, though, you can also tie photos taken with the iPad camera back to specific locations and/or items within the project.

      Aside from the Newforma uses, you can also use it to just do general administrative stuff (spreadsheets, word docs, etc.), although you might want to wait a bit until the Windows8-based tablets start hitting the market.

      You can also use the AutoCADWS on the iPad (because we all know that not all of our consultants are on Revit yet).

      Arcturis
      BIM Manager
      Associate Architect

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        #4
        I know you specifically mentioned iPads but I use my Android tablet in the field as well. It has a docking keyboard so I can take down notes quickly in meetings. At the very least I have all of my current projects' construction documents synced through Google Drive to the tablet and I'm able to pull up drawings as needed. Obviously the down side is that the drawings are going to be limited to the size of the tablet screen.

        Pictures that I take are instantly uploaded through Google Drive as well and sync back down to my work computer in the office. I usually have my tablet tethered to my cell phone so that I'm able to do the syncing when no WiFi is available.

        I know Bluebeam is releasing an iPad app this year and I believe an Android app is in the works as well. If it those apps are as good as their desktop software I'll be quite impressed.
        Chad Koscinski | Architect

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          #5
          Originally posted by Chadwick17 View Post
          I know you specifically mentioned iPads but I use my Android tablet in the field as well. It has a docking keyboard so I can take down notes quickly in meetings. At the very least I have all of my current projects' construction documents synced through Google Drive to the tablet and I'm able to pull up drawings as needed. Obviously the down side is that the drawings are going to be limited to the size of the tablet screen.

          Pictures that I take are instantly uploaded through Google Drive as well and sync back down to my work computer in the office. I usually have my tablet tethered to my cell phone so that I'm able to do the syncing when no WiFi is available.

          I know Bluebeam is releasing an iPad app this year and I believe an Android app is in the works as well. If it those apps are as good as their desktop software I'll be quite impressed.
          The iPad app for Bluebeam was released last week. I really like using Design Review for Android as well, it works pretty well.

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            #6
            I know true tablets (iPad) are smaller and lighter, but what about convertible laptops? That would provide a real keyboard and if needed a mouse.

            Every so often I try to get one for doing existing conditions surveys but I can't seem to convince the boss
            Revit for newbies - A starting point for RFO


            chad
            BEER: Better, Efficient, Elegant, Repeatable.

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              #7
              I have a Lenovo Thinkpad. Slightly thicker and heavier then an iPad (which is ok, cause now I don't have to worry about breaking it all the time) but it did come as a 64gig, 3G, and with case with embedded trackpoint for mouse and keyboard.
              Absolutely LOVE it. Take it everywhere. I have Google Drive (for my own projects), Dropbox (client exchange folders), Box (other client exchange folders), DocumentsToGo (editing word, spreadsheet, powerpoint with no/bad internet reception) OnCloud (free cloud version of Microsoft Office for when I do have good coverage), GMail, Evernote, DWF Viewer, Autocad WS, and so on. And literally everything stays synced.

              I need to do a presentation? Create it on my laptop, by the time I get there it's uploaded. I have 3G so I can download it unless they are in a bunker and go.
              I need to do an on-site visit? Go there, take pictures, sync, done. I can add texts and all with Evernote if needed.
              Have a meeting? I can take notes, make sketches if desired, and so on.

              It's great. No more big bag with a writing pad, no more laptop to carry around with 6kg of battery (this one works 10hrs straight), no more extra camera. All in one. How did we do without them?
              Martijn de Riet
              Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
              MdR Advies
              Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

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                #8
                This is usually the only kind of tablet I use out in the field..........taken with Kool-Aid, of course! :ka:
                Attached Files
                Cliff B. Collins
                Registered Architect
                The Lamar Johnson Collaborative Architects, St. Louis, MO
                Autodesk Expert Elite

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                  #9
                  I recently used my Kindle Fire on a pre-bid site walk. Very handy to have the provided drawings w/o flipping through pages. Smaller than the iPad, but it's what I have, so why not? I have ACAD WS loaded, but nothing in the cloud to download, so I haven't messed w/that so much. I may use this same method for CA walks (if I remember).

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                    #10
                    I don't like that Design Review and Acad WS need things to be in the Autodesk cloud to pull in. I have dropbox, I have evernote, each of which I have better capacities and more use for at the moment than the ADSK cloud.

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