Wednesday, 20 April 2011

It’s alive I tells you, alive!!

Back in September 2010, Autodesk released AutoCAD WS on the iPhone. Since then, almost every CAD user with an Android phone has been screaming and shouting at the top of their voices for an Android release. Well today dear reader, your wish has finally been granted. Say hello to AutoCAD WS for Android.

splash screen

OK, so where to start…. By this stage I presume anyone reading this blog is familiar with AutoCAD WS. If not, shame on you, come see me after class. Basically, AutoCAD WS lets you view, edit, and share DWG drawings through a web browser or mobile device. And yes, I ripped that straight from the Autodesk site!

Drawings Folder

So, once the user logs in to their AutoCAD WS account, they are greeted with the Drawings Folder screen. This shows any of their DWG files that they have uploaded to their account. It also shows your Stylesheets Folder.

Style Sheets

I happen to have 3 different Style Sheets in that folder, you may not have any in the folder. These are my own standard Style Sheets that I uploaded.

Test Drawing

OK, I have opened up a drawing in AutoCAD WS. You have the choice of viewing the drawing in Model Space or anyone of the Layouts you may have created. The above sample is in Layout1 (or paperspace as we used to call it back in the dark ages). I could have zoomed in closer, but truth be told, I just didn’t bother!

Draw Tools

The first menu (highlighted in yellow) is the Draw Menu. From here you can draw circles, lines, polylines, text and so on. You can also use the measure tool to ehh… well to measure something.

Markup Tools

The next menu I looked at was the Markup Tools Menu. This does exactly what it says it does. It allows you to markup drawings using clouds, rectangles, text or free lines. the other menus are self explanatory, when you open one, a tool tip tells you what it its.

That pretty much sums it up. Pinch to zoom works fine, I haven’t noticed any issues with my drawings, though mine are mainly 2D layout drawings, nothing too fancy. I should note that I am running AutoCAD WS on a Samsung Galaxy S using the official Android 2.2 upgrade. When will 2.3 be out? Seemingly by the end of May if you are in Ireland…. I’ll hold my breath.

My one negative point so far is not so much aimed at AutoCAD WS or indeed my Samsung Galaxy S, its aimed at my fingers. I have chubby fingers, they have served me well over the years in drafting and as the worlds greatest goalkeeper never to be capped for Ireland, but they do tend to get in the way of my 4” screen. AutoCAD WS might just be the push I need to pick up a cheap Android tablet.

That’s it. My first thoughts on AutoCAD WS on Android. Thanks Autodesk, for a while there, we Android users were feeling neglected, but now we are feeling the love!

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