Being a contractor has many demands. Thanks to today’s technology, it is becoming easier to manage projects using only your smartphone. Below is a list of mobile apps that will make managing your next construction project a breeze. Make sure to share any apps you think help contractors!
Tools & Utilities
Electronic Level – Bubble Level
Bubble Level is a free Android app gives you instant access to a computerized level. It provides a flat or 360° view and can be calibrated to ensure maximum accuracy.
If you are using an iPhone try iHandy Level for a very similar free app.
Unit Conversion – gUnit
gUnit is one of the best conversion apps available for iPhone. It will allow you convert units in 10 different categories so you can easily have accurate measurements for your next project. It features an easy-to-use interface that quickly converts units and is available for $0.99.
If you use Android, try the free All in One UnitConverter app.
Misc. Construction Tools – Canvas Mobile Construction Apps
Canvas is a company that compiles and develops industry specific mobile apps. They have an App Store with 77 apps specifically for construction management and contractors. Some of them include:
All apps are available for Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile and all of them are free.
Electrical Code Changes – NEC Changes
If you do a lot of electrical work, it is important to stay compliant with the codes set forth by the NEC. To make sure you are always in compliance, try using NEC Changes, which is a free app that operates on all mobile platforms.
Mobile Flashlight App – FlashLight
This free Android app uses the screen of your phone to provide illumination in dark settings. The level of brightness can be controls and does not rely on an LED flash, which some phones lack.
If you use an iPhone try Flashlight for free.
Scientific Calculator – RealCalc
RealCalc is a free scientific calculator app for Android that has more functions that the built-in calculator that comes on most Android phones. It can help with more complicated calculations.
If you use iPhone try HPCalc, which is available for free.
Document Management & Sharing
Instant PDF Creator – DocScanner
DocScanner allows busy contractors to take a picture of any document, invoice, whiteboard, or even receipt and turn it into a PDF. This app even crops, sharpens, and corrects the image. You can then email it to yourself for review at a later date.
DocScanner is available on iPhone and Android for $0.99.
Cloud File Syncing – Dropbox
Dropbox allows you to sync files across multiple computers and smartphones by saving them to a folder provided by Dropbox. Everything will then automatically sync for all of your computers and mobile devices automatically and even act as a backup. The real power comes from its ability to share links with any files in your Dropbox folder to clients or colleagues across the country or world instantly.
Dropbox is available for Mac and PC and all mobile platforms. The app is free for 2 GB, 50 GB and 100 GB are available for $9.99 and $19.99 a month respectively.
Mobile Note Taking – Evernote
Evernote is one of the best apps for taking notes and saving ideas when you are on the go. This free app also has a desktop companion and allows you to save notes, audio, pictures and organizes it for easy retrieval. It also syncs everything across all of the mobile devices and computers you use so you’re always seeing the same thing at the same time.
Evernote is free and works on all mobile and desktop platforms.
Picture Sharing – Instagram
Instagram is one of the best ways to share pictures using your iPhone. It has a simple interface and even includes basic picture editing capabilities. You can quickly snap pictures and share them with anyone else who has Instagram on their iPhone. It is free and works with on the iPhone.
If you use Android, try using picplz, which is available for free from the Android Market.
Store Locator with Toolbox – The Home Depot Mobile App
The mobile app from The Home Depot gives iPhone users the ability to do several important functions right from your phone. These include:
- A Store locator
- In-store maps
- Shop Home Depot Departments
- An interactive toolbox with many convenient functions
- How-To projects
Using this free app from Home Depot you will have everything you need for your next construction project.
Local Business Reviews – Yelp
Yelp allows users to review any local business and helps you find businesses that are close to you. If you are in need of a specialty store or general hardware store, Yelp will help you find the closest one. Yelp is free and available on all mobile platforms.
Turn-by-Turn Directions – Google Places
Google Places works with any Android phone running Android 1.6 or higher and is part of Google Maps for Mobile. It will help you find businesses close to you and give detailed contact information with just one click. Google places will also provide you with turn-by-turn directions and is available for is free.
Mobile Credit Card Processing
Mobile Credit Card Processing – Square
Square is currently one of the most popular mobile credit card processing apps available. It has a very simple interface for keying in credit card numbers. It also offers a card reader that plugs into a standard headphone jack free of charge. It is supported by iPhone and Android and offers a very simple pricing structure. This makes it ideal for small businesses who are eager to start processing credit cards in this manner.
Mobile Credit Card Processing – Intuit GoPayment
Intuit GoPayment is supported on the iPhone, Blackberry, and several smartphones running Android. This app offers two different pricing plans based on your monthly volume (either over or under $1,000). GoPayment does not require a credit card reader, but one can be purchased for $180.
It can text or email a receipt to customers after receiving a confirmation that the payment has been processed. You can also have multiple logins, allowing you to keep transactions for different employees separate. Additionally, you can keep a price list of your inventory in the app, making transactions even quicker for vendors with multiple products.
Intuit GoPayment is a reliable option with many features that other apps lack.