Today Autodesk released the long awaited update for Design Review Mobile & with that there is a name change. Autodesk 360 Mobile has been named as such to move it away from the association with the desktop app and align it with the Autodesk 360 service, the new features in the app reflect that transition and frankly its for the better in the long term.Its still in its infancy though and is lacking what are crucial features in my opinion. But I love it all the same and its one hell of a start. So far I’ve only been able to play with it on a Samsung Galaxy S2 (because Apple make it very hard to beta test Apps!), so I’ve been lacking some screen real estate, but it has allowed me to check out all of the features available. Having checked out the UI on my iPhone I have to say I much prefer the look and feel of it on iOS than Android, I’m looking forward to taking it for a spin on my iPad when I get home this evening.
So if you haven’t got one yet, head over to 360.autodesk.com set yourself up and account, then download the new application from either of these two locations:
When you first open the app you are greeted with the Recent Activity Page, this reflects what you would see when you log into the website.
From there go and have a quick read through the help file to see what this baby is capable of. If you are familiar with the Autodesk 360 site it largely reflects its capabilities with regards to supported file types etc.
The really cool bit though is the ability to review the drawings in a conversational way. This is a great example of making CAD social, in my opinion it should be taking CAD to social media sites, but instead bringing the methods which work really well in the social media realm into the CAD software. I can’t wait for Autodesk to merge this method with the great review & markup tools in the desktop Design Review application.
Finally I really like how the Autodesk 360 Mobile team have respected the screen real estate on mobile devices. Switching into landscape mode automatically wipes the screen so can view your files in all their glory, but then tap a watermarked ‘Fullscreen’ icon to bring the toolbars back and do what you need to.
As you could with Design Review Mobile you can still select components within the 3D view and have a look at their properties. Its at this point you definitely need to be using a tablet to view them on, since as you can see in the image below its all way too squished
I would love to see this property dialogue support URL’s so if a product is in PLM 360, on a manufacturers website of maybe even accessible via the web client, then just by clicking on that cell it would take you there for more information about what you are looking at.
The single thing I desire the most with this app & the Autodesk 360 is to close the design review commenting loop back to the desktop application & Vault. I want to send a drawing to a client so they can review it on the cloud with ubiquitous access across all platforms but still maintain control of the file. More & more people are using Mac’s and currently there isn’t a decent solution for those people to participate in a closed loop review process.
This is a massive improvement on Design Review Mobile and I can’t wait to see this baby flourish in the same way AutoCAD WS has.
I have written a more comprehensive review in next months edition of AUGI World Magazine.