Wednesday, May 2

Smart Phone Apps that are Smart for Homeowners and Designers

There is an app for nearly everything.  With smart phones, and tablets, getting even smarter, it's time to figure out what apps are out there that will make your remodeling project easier.

Sherwin Williams
Color Snap on Android,
BlackBerry & iPhone
When a painting project is first one your list, then you should look into the paint color inspirational apps available from top manufacturers of paint products.  I have already written an article about two of my favorite apps, and two of the first apps, Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore, which goes into detail as to what the apps can do.  All of the app's listed and linked below are free, which is my favorite part.

Looking for more?  Another app that I use often is called Measure and Sketch, which is also free.  With this app, you can take a photograph of something like a window, appliance, or so much more, measure it out, and notate the photograph with the measurements you have taken.  This app is available on the Google Play Store for Android.  There is a similar app on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, called My Measures, that is $2.99.  

Houzz App on
iPhone & iPad.
Another similar app available on both Android and iPhone, is Skitch.  Skitch isn't necessarily for dimensions, but it is a nice way to draw on photographs and screen shots with notes, thoughts, and ideas. For example, if you are a designer, and have a copy of a basic floor plan, you can easily doodle ideas for layouts and designs while waiting for your next appointment, no pencil required.  You can easily email and save your drawings as well.  

The Houzz app, available only on iPhone and iPad (Sorry fellow Android users!) Houzz is the "Largest database of home design ideas" including an ever growing library of images that can be browsed by style, room, location, and so much more.  This app is free in the App Store.  Another similar inspirational app is HGTVtoGo, also only available for iPhone and iPad.  

This next app, has nothing to do with Interior Design, but it is great for you designers who have to travel a lot from appointment to appointment.  Wayz, a social gps tool, allows users to post traffic hazards such as grid lock, speeding traps, road closures and construction, anything.  The app then takes this information and will direct you to your next appointment, to get you there as quickly as possible.  It will even warn you about that upcoming traffic light with a camera.  If you are a heavy commuter, or on the road a lot for your job, this is a good app that I just found, and is available on not only Android and iPhone, but Windows Phone and other devices.  According to their website, they also have a beta testing version for BlackBerry available. 

Another, not so Interior Design, however a great and useful app, is the Dolphin Browser.  This browser works great for the multi-tasker.  Instead of having to find all of your windows, it works much like Chrome and I.E. with the tabbed windows at the top, for quick switching.  There are also a ton of other add-on's including screen shots, the ability to save pages to Evernote, and so much more.  This is a great add on for those of you who like to do more than one thing at a time.  Available on Android and iPhone.
iHandy Carpenter 

Next, is the iHandy Carpenter app, on Android and iPhone which includes five tools.  A plumb bob, surface level, bubble level bar, steel ruler, and can be calibrated and used as an inclinometer/clinometer by reading angles on the screen.

The 3D Interior Room Design app, available on Android, is a great way to quickly draw out the walls and design a room with modified colors, furnishings, moldings, and more.  This app is $4.79 on the Google Play Store.

These are just some of the app's that I know of, there are thousands more including construction calculators, photo libraries, CAD applications, and so much more.  Be sure to read all reviews before purchasing any app's, as I would hate for anyone to spend money on an app that they don't need, or doesn't do what they were expecting.  If you have any comments or additional apps you would like to share, please feel free to add them to the comments.  I am always interested in more app's.