I had planned to continue the thread from my last blog article on how we might see apps for construction on all sorts of new devices, and even though the rumors indicate that Samsung will launch its new Galaxy Gear watch on September 4th, I want to pause to take a quick look at the flurry of news from the past few weeks around the upcoming Apple product launch announcement instead.Bloomberg and others are predicting that on September 10th, Apple will launch the newest versions of the iPhone and there’s a chance they could announce new iPad models (although its more likely to be October). So, if you already have an iPad that you’re using with BIM 360 Field or Glue, this might be the news you’ve been waiting for to upgrade to the latest and greatest. Here’s a summary of what we’re excited about so far:
The 5th generation iPad for construction
- Thinner. The new full-size 5th generation iPad is rumored to be even thinner than the current iPad model. If you’ve held an iPad mini, you’ve probably noticed it’s a bit thinner, so the new iPad should be that much easier to slip into your safety vest pocket when you’re walking the job site for a QA/QC inspection.
- Retina screen and faster CPU for the iPad mini (maybe). If you’re a fan of the smaller iPad, you’ll be that much happier looking at your jobsite photos, documents, or 3D models, when it has a crisper, more detailed screen. If you’ve been using a larger iPad, this might be the reason to switch to a mini.
- Voice dictation – no Internet required. While this isn’t actually a feature of a new iPad, it is something that many BIM 360 Field customers would find useful. The rumor is that iOS 7, the next version of the iPad operating system, might include the ability for you to dictate speech to text using a locally installed voice translation service. This means you can be fully offline, six stories underground in a parking structure or on the 50th floor of a high-rise with no internet available, and use your voice to enter details about tasks or capture quality inspections right in the BIM 360 Field app.
All that said, while the rumors about the new features in these 5th gen iPads and iOS 7 are exciting news, like thousands of the other field engineers, superintendents, and subcontractors using the BIM 360 Field app today, you might find that the current iPad and iPad mini are just fine for your construction project.
But, maybe there’s some other killer feature that you’d like to see Apple put into a new iPad. What is it? Comment back and let us know!