Daniel Ewald, landscape architect MNLA

App review – Architactile Inception

Architactile InceptionI recently had the pleasure of testing Architactile Inception for iPad, an application developed for the professional architect. The application is designed for the purpose of gathering and sorting information in the pre-project phase; including budget overviews, client guidelines, team member information and visualisations on project progression, all wrapped up in a neat package which can be exported swiftly and elegantly for client review. As a landscape architecture student outside the US, I am not exactly within the bounds of the target user group of this application. As such, I write this review based on my impressions of the application features, look and feel to the best of my ability.

Available at $499, Architactile Inception is one of the priciest applications in the Apple App Store. There are numerous reasons for this, all of which are gone through in detail on developer and founder Matt Galloway’s blog, but in short the reasons given can be summarised as follows: it is an application developed for a specific target audience (professional architects), it is a powerful tool (or toolbox, rather), and the amount of time it saves the user makes up for the price more than quickly enough. One does not purchase Architactile Inception to try it out for sports and then ditch it in the “might come in handy” folder, where most of your every day two dollar applications are stacked, one purchases it to use it, and use it professionally. After testing, it’s easy to see why.

Organising new projects

Upon starting the application, one is taken to the worksheet, where all current projects are listed. When creating a new project, one is given a series of options, from project name and goal, address and initial budget estimations, approximate size of the area in question and type of construction. When this information is filled in, one can start the data input for the project in detail.

Worksheet Team Members Cost Analysis Gantt Chart

Architactile Inception has a built-in database that covers costs for various types of services connected to the project, according to US standards. This information carries over to the different overview panes, to make the project economy available at all times for the user. Building types and construction standards are easily selected from dropdown menus, all with detailed explanations. A visual bubble diagram representing the construction phases, relatively sized in proportion to cost, is automatically generated upon adding of new construction elements. In addition to these features, the application also stores the team member details of the project, a visual gantt chart time schedule, in short every bit of information you would want to be in order at the beginning of your project.

If all this wasn’t enough, the application then allows you to compile all this information into a beautifully formatted pdf-document, complete with your custom company branding if so desired, and attach it to email for client review in just a couple of taps.

Stability

Architactile Inception is a very lightweight application. There is no graphic heavy user interface; function is above all. Upon hours of testing, I have yet to experience a crash or sluggish behaviour. The developers have apparently done a solid job on making the application as stable as possible.

Limits and downsides

As the application first and foremost is developed based on cost analysis relative to the US, the budget features will naturally become more limited for the international user. There is just a single option for locations “outside the US” as of yet. Adding support for multiple countries and keeping them up to date is surely an atrocious workload, so how this will be addressed is up to question. Maybe a region-specific solution?

Summary

As both a visually oriented and (maniacally, at times) systematic person, the features of Architactile Inception are simply ingenious. The time-saving is one aspect, the mobility another, and finally the compiled document one gets out of the information given all leads to the conclusion that the application is worth its weight in gold. As the future landscape architect outside the US, I can only hope the developers will seek to expand their work further, for the way this is going, it should be an invaluable tool for any architect. For the building architect located in the US there should be few reasons to not get a hold of Architactile Inception this instant.

Architactile Inception can be purchased through this link to the Apple Application Store.

There are several videos on YouTube from the developers showing the application features, check them out here.

Filed under: Apps, Articles, Tools, , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Jay says:

    hi! Do you know if this app will run on IOS 7???

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