10 iOS Productivity Apps for Engineers

March 17, 2014

There are literally thousands of specialized apps for engineers available for iPhone and iPad. Here are the ten most useful iOS apps for engineers.

Basic Productivity Apps

Whatever field you work in, there are some standard productivity apps that are invaluable when working away from your desk. Even better, many of them are free.

10 iOS Productivity Apps for EngineersConnectivity: Desktop Connect

  • $14.99

  • Developed by Antecea, Inc

  • When you’re out of the office, how many times have you wished you had access to your main work computer, or even your home computer? Desktop Connect allows you to access any Mac, Windows, or Linux machine directly from your iPad or iPhone. All your files are available, and you can even run programs from the remote computer. (It’s fully encrypted, so there are no security worries.)

10 iOS Productivity Apps for EngineersCloud storage: Dropbox

  • 2Gb free, then $10/month for each additional 100Gb (storage costs, app is free)

  • Developed by Dropbox, Inc

  • Cloud storage is by far the easiest way to share files and access them from your mobile device, so some form of cloud app on your iPad or iPhone is a must. Dropbox isn’t the cheapest of the cloud storage solutions: there are plenty which will give you more free space (15Gb from Google Drive), and many which work out cheaper for additional storage (25/year per 50Gb from Microsoft’s OneDrive). Dropbox, however, is the best at integrating with other mobile apps. Dropbox support is standard for most apps that offer any form of cloud syncing, and the app is consistently rated highly by users. If you need a lot of storage space and cost is an issue, then you should perhaps investigate the alternatives, but for most users, Dropbox is sufficient and cost-effective, while offering the greatest ease of use and range of compatibility.

10 iOS Productivity Apps for EngineersOffice suite: CloudOn

  • Free, upgrade to Pro for advanced features (currently $3.99/month)

  • Developed by CloudOn, Inc

  • When it comes to mobile Office Suites, there are two schools of thought – either you want the lightest possible suite with the minimum set of features, or you want everything you can get on your desktop. CloudOn seems to have struck the perfect balance. You get all the editing tools you commonly need for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, while its output formats arel fully compatible with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat. They’ve put a lot into the cloud integration, so it’s easy to sync everything with Dropbox, Box, and other remote storage solutions. (If you need more than the basic features, there’s a small monthly fee for the Pro version.)

10 iOS Productivity Apps for EngineersCalculator: Graphing Calculator

  • $1.99

  • Developed by AppCylon

  • Although every phone and tablet has an inbuilt calculator, a working engineer needs more than just the basics. This is one of the most highly-rated professional calculators, with a fully-featured scientific calculator and a powerful, high-resolution function plotter. If you need to be able to create graphs, this should definitely be on your iPad or iPhone.

10 iOS Productivity Apps for EngineersAccounts & Expenses: Xero

  • Free trial, then $9/month upwards, depending on plan

  • Developed by Xero Ltd

  • For senior managers and owners of small engineering companies, having immediate access to financial information – including bank accounts, invoices, and bills – is a real life-saver. For everyone else, it’s a handy little expense account tracker. Instead of spending an hour or two going through your receipts, filling in spreadsheets, and sending them to the accounts department, you just punch in your expenses and scan the receipts as they happen, and they’ll get sent directly to whoever needs to approve them.

Reference Tools

The most common productivity app you’ll need is a specialist reference library. There’s no need to try and remember formulas, conversion ratios, or specific best practice guidelines when you can keep them all in your pocket. Unlike the general purpose apps, you will normally have to pay for these, but the cost is low – usually under $10.

10 iOS Productivity Apps for EngineersUnit Converter Pro

  • $0.99

  • Developed by Easeware

  • Convert almost anything to anything else – with over 1200 units in more than 50 categories, you’re pretty much covered no matter what you’re doing. It’s easy to use, comprehensive, and cheap.

10 iOS Productivity Apps for EngineersEngineering Pro

  • $11.99

  • Developed by Multieducator, Inc

  • This app combines six other apps designed for specialists: Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Environmental, Hydrology and Mechanical Engineering. Individually, they’re priced at $5.99, so the bundle is a real bargain. It includes over 750 standard formulas and conversions, allowing you to calculate anything from expected bearing life to the efficiency of a pump.

10 iOS Productivity Apps for EngineersElectronic Toolbox Pro

  • $5.99

  • Developed by Markus Roskosch

  • This is the must-have reference app for electrical engineers. It’s a multipurpose library including over 50 different mini-apps, covering everything from formulas and conversion tools for every conceivable purpose. Need a transformer winding calculator? Or diagrams of the pins for audio, video, computer or phone sockets? Look no further.

10 iOS Productivity Apps for EngineersOrifice

  • $3.99

  • Developed by Michael LaRose

  • This is a very simple app designed with a single purpose: to calculate orifice sizes, flow rate, delta P, and Reynolds numbers for liquid service systems. Although it’s several years old, it’s still perfectly functional – fluid dynamics hasn’t changed, much.

10 iOS Productivity Apps for EngineersRC Beam & RC Design

  • $4.99 each

  • Developed by Nasser Alwehaidah

  • This pair of apps assists in the design of reinforced concrete structures. As you’d expect, RC Beam is specifically for beams, while RC Design is for columns, slabs and corbels. It conforms to ACI 318, and facilitates calculation of tension reinforcement, stirrup spacing, and reinforcement cut-off locations.

You’re ready to go!

With that selection of apps, you’ll find you can do much more on your mobile device than you expected. Not only will you be able to work more efficiently, you may be able to leave the laptop behind and travel with just your iPad or iPhone.

Don’t worry, Android users – we’ll get to you next month! In the meantime, leave your suggestions for must-have Android productivity apps on our Facebook page, or tweet us @EngineerJobs.


Featured Image Credit Sean MacEntee