The VirLaser Level app (shown, above) uses your iPhone’s camera to determine whether an object or material application is level. The red axes on the screen always show the true horizontal or vertical level, as well as angles in precise degrees. For convenience of measurement, the intersection of axes can be moved around on the screen.
Punch list and site audit
The Punch List app purports to generate simple PDF files including progress photos, notes, and other site audit documents and email them to clients, homeowners, inspectors, and partners. It documents walk-throughs and closeouts, ensuring important items are reported and quickly addressed.
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The CamToPlan Pro app is a virtual ruler and tape measure that uses augmented reality to measure the length, distance, or area of any surface and transfers the image to a variety of file formats, including PDF and PNG. The app also can make pricing estimates based on its measurements, the developer says.
Using the PlanGrid mobile app enables you to publish amended versions of construction drawings to a cloud server and share them. The app helps keep all design and building team members current with the latest drawing revisions, alerting users if they are viewing an outdated drawing.
Build your own
The DeWalt Mobile Pro app offers basic calculation and reference tools with optional add-ons to customize the app for your needs, the developer says. The free version is equipped with a fully functional construction calculator, reference materials (including illustrations) to optimize the app, and nine add-on calculations with access to hundreds more.
Using the Truckast app, you can set up your ready-mix concrete order directly from your smartphone or tablet. Once an order is placed, you can use the app to track delivery in real time so your jobsite and crew are ready. The app also maintains a complete record of how much concrete has been placed and how much is on order.
Bid and trade management
SmartBid’s SmartBidNet iPhone app allows you to create and track the bid process in a secure, reliable environment. Construction managers can access the mobile platform to send invitations to bid, share project documents, prequalify trades, and streamline their bid project data, documents, and subcontractor communications during preconstruction.
Estimate and invoice tracker
Joist allows construction managers, estimators, and purchasing professionals to create and track estimates and invoices and accept payments using a mobile device. This free app enables timely bid or estimate submittals, contains your personal and most-used labor rates, and stores client info for easy reference.
Bid and invoice tracker
JobFlex is an easy-to-navigate app for estimating and invoicing. You can create and deliver estimates and invoices in minutes, the developer says, by selecting items from your price list and populating your invoice with pictures and descriptions. The app also offers best-practice tips for proper document formatting.
The Heat Safety Tool app from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health features a real-time heat index and hourly forecasts specific to your location to guard against heat-related illnesses and injuries. The app sends reminders to drink enough fluids, schedule rest breaks, and plan outdoor work based on how hot it feels throughout the day.
The American Red Cross offers a multitude of mobile apps appropriate for builders and contractors on the jobsite, including those for severe weather and emergency alerts (all-inclusive or specific to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or earthquakes), common first-aid practices, and more.
Stop tools from “walking off” the jobsite using the Tool Tracker app. Simply scan tool bar codes and add information about each tool and its assigned jobsite or whether the tool is not currently in use or needs maintenance. The app also tracks rental equipment to avoid extra fees and can group tools that travel together from site to site.
Just for fun, the Construction Simulator 2 Lite app from Google is a mobile game in which you build your own construction company and take the wheel of 40-plus construction vehicles to load construction materials, pour concrete, and operate massive cranes. There are more than 60 engaging and challenging construction jobs to choose from.