Version 2.2 of the BIM 360 Glue mobile app for iPad is available on the App Store today. For those of you upgrading to this release, the first thing you'll notice is the updated user experience, which has been optimized for iOS 7. New users will benefit from contextual user assistance to help you learn the features as you use them (upgraders can access these too, as I'll explain below). This new release also includes new features that have been requested by numerous users, such as the ability to select object property URLs, and support for transparent objects in BIM 360 Glue views and markups.
Updated User Experience
The BIM 360 Glue mobile user experience has been updated to better align with other BIM 360 Glue clients, providing coherence for users switching between them. The interface is much cleaner, with a fresh appearance; and in line with iOS 7 it puts increased focus onto the content (your models) and guides you through specific workflows. For example, when adding a markup, the top bar provides clear instructions and the primary action (that which we expect the user to take) – Notify in this instance – is highlighted in blue.
Throughout the app, attention has been paid to grouping 'positive actions', such as Save and Notify, in the top right of the screen, whilst 'negative actions', such as Cancel are positioned in the top left. This type of consistency will assist users, not only in learning current functionality, but also future features that are added.
Other usability enhancements have also been added in this release, such as renaming the Back button (when viewing a specific model) to Models, thereby making it clearer that this will take you out of the current model. These improvements have been identified through a number of usability studies that have been carried out with a number of customers. Thanks to all of you that participated in helping the continuous improvement of the app!
Select Object Property URLs
Many users have provided feedback that they have object properties embedded in their models providing a URL to additional information, such as manufacturer websites or equipment specifications. Up until now, you have been able to read those property URLs, but couldn't do anything with them. With the 2.2 release, that changes! You can now tap your property URLs and be taken to the specific web page.
Support for Transparent Objects in Views and Markups
In the BIM 360 Glue desktop client, you can make objects transparent and save Views and Markups based on those overrides. One example where this is used by BIM 360 Glue customers is with Clashes, where a markup is created whilst viewing a clash result. That markup can then be shared with a project member who will receive a notification. If the user opens that markup notification on their iPad, they will now be taken directly to that markup, and be able to clearly see the clashing objects with all other objects semi-transparent. And by adding another markup in response, communication between project members isn't restricted to those in the office.
Contextual User Assistance
Earlier I talked about how this new version of the app helps to guide the user through workflows, and how this release further helps new users to learn the app through contextual user assistance. This new user assistance – in the form of coach marks – appears the first time a new user opens a model, or launches one of the tools, such as Markups. The coach marks appear as a semi-transparent layer over the model scene, and call out the available functionality. Tap anywhere in the background to dismiss the coach marks, and to bring them back at any time, simply tap the question mark in the lower right of the interface. If you're in the main model scene, then the main coach marks will be displayed; if you have the Models, Views or Markups panel open, or are using the Measure tools, then the respective coach marks will be displayed, providing the essential information required to use that feature.
Tapping on any of the coach mark callouts or icons will access the appropriate section of the online Autodesk BIM 360 help, where you will be presented with additional information. All of the coach marks are built into the app and always available, however you will require an Internet connection to access the additional online help content.
You can download the new release of BIM 360 Glue mobile from the iTunes App Store.