Like having a quantity surveyor in your pocket

If you don’t yet own a smartphone or you’ve never downloaded an “app”, you probably will soon. Last August, communications regulator Ofcom reported that 27% of adults had one, most acquired over the previous year. The most popular uses are email, internet surfing and social networking, but the latest devices are equipped with powerful digital cameras, presentation-quality graphics, GPS technology and laptop-sized memories, so the opportunities for anyone with the time and energy to think of an application and develop the code for it are endless. More than 500,000 people have already done exactly that. And some of them work in construction, judging by the growing number of apps that turn the industry’s mobile phones into handheld portfolios, technical cribsheets, drawing boards and decibel readers. For this piece in AIS Interiors Focus magazine, I tracked down the best and the most useful construction apps, including almost certainly the world’s first dedicated to quantity surveying – now downloaded more than 500 times in seven countries and earning rave, five-star reviews in Apple’s App Store.

Author: Katie Puckett

I am an experienced journalist, copywriter and editor who has covered the built environment for nearly 20 years. I’ve interviewed thousands of senior executives, politicians and experts in many fields and travelled to report on stories throughout Europe, the US, the Gulf states and India. My articles have appeared in many business and professional titles including Building, Estates Gazette, Inside Housing, the Bartlett Review, Insurance Times and Lloyd’s Market. I am co-author, with architect Bill Gething, of Design for Climate Change, published by RIBA, and I launched and edit The Possible, a thought leadership magazine for global engineering firm WSP. I'm also co-founder of Wordmule, an editorial studio that specialises in buildings and cities.

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