Too harsh? We Android users are used to having to wait for the next big app to ship after iOS. The fact that SolidWorks themselves stated in the SolidWorks Forums in the Official eDrawings Mobile Wish List thread that there were "No plans to develop for Android", brought customers out in droves requesting them to reconsider.
At SolidWorks World 2013 (January) a glimpse of hope was shown on the main stage when a sneek peek version of eDrawings was running on Google's own Nexus 7 tablet. Things were looking good...
Yesterday news came down from the SolidWorks Blog that eDrawings had finally made it's debut onto the Google Play Store after being pre-announced back in January. eDrawings for Android, like it's iOS sister, is the only real viewer that can work with the breath of features in native SolidWorks files.
Here are the details of the first eDrawings release for Android (From the Play Store):
* Intuitive and easy-to-use user interface
* Open 3D (EASM, EPRT, SLDASM, SLDPRT), 2D (EDRW, SLDDRW) and associated files from any source: email attachments, cloud storage services (Dropbox™, SkyDrive®, Google Drive, Hightail®, and others), web and FTP sites and network folders.
* Zoom, pan and rotate your 2D or 3D CAD data using multi-touch
* Animate 3D standard views
* Browse your 2D drawing sheets
* View your designs in full screen and double tap to fit it on screen
* Sample files included
You might remember the launch of the iPad version that shipped on May 1st, updated on June 15 and in September eDrawings Pro for iPad shipped which really made eDrawings on mobile something to envy. There has been no official word on if/when a pro version will be available for Android but I am sure they are working on it as we speak.
In order to test eDrawings for Android like I did for iOS, I wanted to go back through my test files and see what still applied to the compatibility chart. I did most of my testing on the new Nexus 7 which shipped on July 24th, 2013. The results were almost identical to the first iOS release except on Android it appears that you can open SolidWorks template files (just like the desktop version), which was not possible on the iOS version. Password protected files and files with markups in them will appear to open but just switch to eDrawings without any content available for viewing. This is expected in a V1 release and I am sure there will be bug fixes and enhancements to come in the following weeks. Below is the compatibility chart from my testing...
At $1.99 this is a "no-brainer" purchase for any Android user and it seems to be compatible on both phones and tablets without issue. I hope to see a Pro version soon but this is a great first step and hopefully we will see more parity with an iOS release schedule in the future. ~Lou