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Autodesk finally comes back to the Mac

Autodesk announces a native Mac OS X version of its flagship application AutoCAD, plus Autodesk WS for iOS.

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Autodesk has announced Autodesk AutoCAD 2011 for Mac and iOS. This new software has been in the works for quite some time the company has reported to Architosh back in the mid summer. The new version of AutoCAD 2011 for Mac will also have the companion product AutoCAD WS, a new mobile application designed for the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The company has definitely embraced Apple’s touch interface technology, utilizing it in many creative ways on Mac OS X.

“The release of AutoCAD for the Mac marks the return of professional design and engineering software to the Mac platform and an important convergence of power and design,” said Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Autodesk Platform Solutions and Emerging Business. “Over 5000 customers have helped develop this product through our beta program and they are delighted to have the choice of a native Mac version of AutoCAD.”

Code Name Sledgehammer

AutoCAD 2011 for Mac was code-named Sledgehammer. After a 16 year absence the company has come back to the Apple platform in the correct way, embracing Apple’s phenomenal Multi-touch gesture technology on Mac notebooks like the popular MacBook and MacBook Pro, in addition to the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad just recently introduced.

01 - AutoCAD 2011 on the Mac. Autodesk makes huge announcement about this new software tile, marking a significant return back to Apple's platform.

Apple’s Coverflow is supported and the company has done an admirable job with its graphic user interface for the program, including the adjustability of its colors (two-toned approach). The UI is dark and gray like many leading rival 3D and CAD applications on both the Mac and other platforms. The dark interface makes the content window more clear while diminishing eye-strain due to screen brightness.

AutoCAD 2011 for Mac works across platform for DWG file sharing. Users can open up AutoCAD files that were created by Windows AutoCAD users and vice versa. Additionally, older version of AutoCAD files will also open in AutoCAD 2011 for Mac and the company has shared with Architosh that they have worked extensively on the API for customization and third-party integration. Several big third-party AutoCAD software vendors are preparing native versions of their software for AutoCAD 2011 Mac.

AutoCAD WS

Autodesk announced AutoCAD WS as well. This new mobile application is a new free app that will be available from Apple’s App Store for sharing and editing AutoCAD files on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch for real-time collaboration on the go.

Both AutoCAD 2011 for Mac and AutoCAD WS will be available in North America and Europe sometime between this announcement and October. Users can pre-order the app starting Wednesday, September 1.