The word ‘APP’ contrary to popular belief is an acronym for ‘Application software’ rather than just application. These application software’s or apps as we like to call them were initially designed and developed for simple data retrieval and general productivity. However, advances in technology and consumer demand led to the explosion of the app market and to what it is today.

Over the course of its development, apps became synonymous with mini-games and stress busting activities as developers raced to satisfy the needs of Smartphone users. However, these day’s apps exist for nearly any field imaginable and on most mobile operating systems.

Until recently, a mobile application for civil engineers was rare sighting. However, the number of apps that are available these days for civil engineers has surged and will continue to do so as developers realize the untapped potential of the civil engineering app market. The arrival of apps specifically meant for civil engineers has the potential to dramatically transform the way in which engineers approach day-to-day activities.

While the Apple app market is a force to reckon with, we at The Masterbuilder decided to focus our efforts on the application software’s available for practicing civil engineers on the Android platform since nearly 70% of Smartphone users worldwide operate on an Android plat-form, according to a survey done by the TIME group in 2012.

Currently, android mobile apps for civil engineering encompass areas such as CAD and design, estimation, project management, calculations, forum, plan room and LEED and reference among others. Empowered with these apps, engineers can now work at a much faster pace by addressing issues and communicating changes on the spot at the job site rather than pulling back to the drawing board. After all in today’s world, where time is at a premium, these apps enable more output from engineers in less time. Consider this scenario. An engineer is on the site and wants to urgently take a look at a 3D architectural rendition or do a calculation to find out the estimated requirement of a particular material. With civil engineering based apps these tasks now only take a few seconds.

Civil engineers play a key role in the development of a nation and we at The Masterbuilder, have always been in the forefront when it comes to keeping the engineering community up-to-date with the latest happenings in the field. To this end, we decided to sieve through the numerous android apps available and bring you the best of the best. You can find listed below, some of the leading android apps available, guaranteed to make a difference in the way the Civil engineer of today works.

Frame Design                                                                                                        

By Lets Construct

4.5 Stars from 611 Ratings

A mega hit amongst users, this app is a must have if you are a civil engineering or architecture student. With its fast and transparent calculations users are free to explore their wildest frame designs in 2D. Accepting inputs in both graphical and textual format, this app makes for an extremely occupying and absorbing time pass. Apart from cutting loose with designs, students can also use this app for their projects and assignments by cross referencing values and results. While this app does come heavily loaded for its price, the developers did not incorporate any form of cloud integration process which has sort of become the norm for any application dealing with workable files nowadays.

Autodesk Force Effect

By Autodesk Inc.

4.4 Stars from 993 Ratings

Autodesk Force Effect is an app that lives up to its hype. This is an extremely powerful app with fast calculations and lots of features. Users can either draw a design from scratch and formulate various force effects on the design or capture a picture and use the picture as a background reference as various forces on the structure are calculated. Another nifty feature about this app is its capability to calculate forces for over constrained systems. This app too however, does not feature any form of cloud integration capabilities.

AutoCAD 360

By Autodesk Inc.

4.3 Stars from 35,279 Ratings

This app comes to you from Autocad. It is an application that is useful mainly for reviewing purposes. With the integrated web version, this app scores heavily in terms of file security, connectivity and sharing capabilities. This application does have a paid version also. The paid version has in it features such as layer management tools, object properties, new file creation and an extended memory for file storage.


By Thodoris Bougas

4.5 Stars from 171 Ratings

This app is a simplified version of the Frame Design app which we reviewed earlier. Designs can only be laid out using keyed inputs. It is an extremely user- friendly app and is recommended for users with specific requirements. A minor downside to the app is that it doesn’t specify the units in which values are to be entered and lacks any form of cloud integration or editing features.

Civil Engineering Pack

By Sparky Solutions

4.3 Stars from 6 ratings

This app is by far the most comprehensive civil engineering and construction calculator out there. Consisting of about 574 calculators and converters, this application is capable of converting imperial and metric units quickly and easily.

Some of its key features include
–    All calculators are available both in SI Units (Metric System) and USCS Units (Imperial System).
–    Complete coverage of calculators and converters in Civil engineering and construction parameters.
–    Automatic calculation and conversion of the output with respect to changes in the input/options/units.
–    Formulas are provided for each calculator.
–    Values of higher Order can also be calculated.
–    Extremely accurate calculations and conversions.
–    Professionally and newly designed user-interface that speeds up data entry, calculation speed and enables easy viewing.

Quick Civil

By Home Apps

4.6 Stars from 5 ratings

This app was designed to perform calculations for open channel flow, weir, orifice and time of concentration. The app occupies only a small space  about 380KB, making it making it extremely light and fast. This app is definitely worth its price, though the restricted functionality will find you looking for something more comprehensive.

Concrete Design

By Lets Construct

4.3 Stars from 93 Ratings

This is an extremely handy tool for professionals and students looking to determine the amount of reinforcement required in a concrete section for both rectangular and flanged (T beams) beams. It works by accepting inputs like material strength (yielding), redistribution factor; rebar diameters and forces acting on the beam. The outputs include the uncracked and cracked centroid of the section, the uncracked and cracked second moment of area (or moment of inertia), the cracking moment, and the elastic modulus of concrete and the tensile strength of concrete.

Reinforced Concrete Calculator

By DevNull.so

4.5 Stars from 44 Ratings

The Reinforced Concrete Calculator is DevNull’s hottest application. With over 10,000 downloads it is slowly gaining recognition. The user- interface is fast, easy to use and is attractively laid out. The application performs calculations for forces acting on beams, columns, walls and slabs in accordance with the Polish and European building con-struction laws. The app is backed by an interactive and enthu-siastic team, frequently releasing updates and bug fixes.

Bearing Capacity FREE

By Terrasolum

4.5 Stars from 53 Ratings

This application was designed to output values on the ultimate and design bearing resistance of spread foundations with different shapes like rectangular, square, circular and strip footings. It is a handy tool for geotechnical engineers and civil engineers looking for quick calculations on foundations. It is easy to use with a comfortable interface. The app is also available in a paid version which includes features like GPS support, Photo documentation and PDF report generation and distribution via email and cloud programs.

Civil Engineering

By WAGmob

5 Stars from 2 ratings

This application for mobile devices was designed for learning, teaching and training purposes by summarizing most of the essential concepts in Civil Engineering. It comes with a review mode which consists of snack sized bits of information which helps in memorizing key concepts easily.

Engineering Libraries

By LetsConstruct

4.3 Stars from 152 Ratings

A powerful learning tool from Lets Construct, this app contains information on steel, concrete, soil, wood and other core materials vital to Civil engineers. This app is just about the perfect tool to have when looking for quick and accurate information. However, while using the app we encountered issues with respect to information on welding. Unfortunately, we could not find any statements on this issue by the developers anywhere.

Ap4 Project Managers

By Ap4 Project Managers

3.8 Stars from 104 Ratings

This is an extremely handy app for project managers. Project managers can use this app to keep track of the progress of a project by syncing this app with their contractor’s devices to obtain reports on the completion of various stages of the project. The app basically breaks done your project into a to-do list with information organized within the project tasks. The free version of this app allows users to use this app for only 1 project with 200 Mb of storage space whereas the paid versions can go up to 100 GB with around 50 projects being managed.


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