Back at the beginning of May DS SolidWorks launched the 1.0 version of the long awaited eDrawings for iPad. This first release was far from perfect but SolidWorks opened up the suggestions box and asked for feedback from the community. Many of the feature requests were addressed in the 1.1 version that shipped just 45 days after the debut of eDrawings for iPad.
Although the biggest request was a version that would run on Android, which has still not been addressed, the feature list that makes eDrawings useful to a majority of it's users (Markup, Measure, Section, etc..) was still absent from the mobile version of eDrawings. It appeared that subsequent updates would trickle out but that the buik of what this mobile client would do was somewhat feature complete.
On the last day of August 2012, DS SolidWorks launched another version of eDrawings for the iPad called eDrawings Pro for iPad, bringing almost all the features still missing in the standard version. In addition to the first generation build, eDrawings Pro for iPad will add the following functionality:
- UPDATED Interface
- Read and create markups
- View Decals
- Apply cross sections
SolidWorks, on their blog, listed many features that were already in the first version of eDrawings along with the pricing for this new offering. The official price will be $9.99 but will debut for 30 days at a 50% discount of $4.99. I think the $4.99 price is probably fair but the $9.99 price tag might me a bit high unless this is a must have app for you. Some folks seems to think this is a hefty price considering they already bought the first version that does most of what this version does. Maybe I'd feel that way at the $10 mark however it would have been wiser to make the Professional features available as an in-app purchase in the original version for $4.99. Perhaps this would ease the pain of buying the first version not knowing the Pro version was right around the corner. Unfortunately I will probably just delete the original version of eDrawings since it has been obsoleted by the Pro version. ($2 early adopter fee?)
It's interesting how the mobile app marketplace has changed not only the price point of apps but also the expectations of it's users. Five years ago, people wouldn't even complain about an application that had a $10 price tag, in fact they probably wouldn't even hesitate to purchase it. However, today a $10 mobile app brings a lot of "purchase hesitation" where as a $4.99 price may be still considered an impuse buy.
Below is the updated compatibility chart I built from the first version of the application. Obviously there are still things that can only be done on the desktop version but overall this mobile client is the one to have of the two. It is not apparent if the new interface or other pre-existing features will be updated in the standard version of eDrawings for iPad.
As far as plans to eventually support Android, well the stance is the same:
"We opted to concentrate on iOS for the time being because we felt we would reach the most users that way. But as I said earlier, we welcome any and all feedback." - Matthew West, Social Media Manager, DS SolidWorks
Personally I have purchased a Google Nexus 7 and think it is one of the best tablets I have used to date. Having owned the original iPad and now the iPad 3rd generation, as a utility device, the Nexus is at par with the iPad and has become my go-to device. I hope Google entering the market and making a reference design will promote more quality devices to be made by its partners and boost the Android tablet market. At this point counting out Android on tablets is just not going to happen and more companies have to start giving Android love on day one instead of treating the platform like a second rate citizen.
eDrawings Pro for iPad is the real deal and is the feature set I have always wanted to see on a tablet. At $4.99, it is worth every penny, even if I already paid for the first version. I have invested a total of $7 into having this functionality on my tablet and would like to see it make its way not only to Android but also to phones since that is the platform that will reach the masses. Having this feature set on any mobile device will move SolidWorks in the right direction to addressing what users want in the mobile space. ~Lou