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Trimble Announces Beta Launch of SketchUp for iPad

Trimble brings full creation, editing, and collaboration with new SketchUp for iPad — now in limited beta.

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Trimble has launched SketchUp for iPad in a beta format. This new product brings the world’s most used and popular 3D modeling software to the world-leading Apple iPad platform, a de facto standard in field operations in the US AECO market.

Now architects, engineers, and construction professionals can create, edit, and collaborate on SketchUp models from anywhere at any time.

SketchUp for iPad Beta

Trimble previously had an iOS viewer app for SketchUp but that product was limited and ultimately far less useful for professionals who want to actually create models on a mobile device like a tablet. Now with the latest beta version, users can create 3D models on a range of iPad products from the iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad Pro—using the Apple Pencil, a mouse, a keyboard, and multitouch gestures.

SketchUp for iPad

Trimble launches SketchUp for iPad Beta. The new software allows users to create, edit and collaborate on 3D models from the iPad lineup.

The app leverages 5G technology on devices to communicate with Trimble Connect™—a widely used collaboration platform or CDE (common data environment)—that would enable pros in the field to communicate with peers at the office or remote work at home in real-time. This would enable users also to move freely from SketchUp for iPad, Web, and the desktop.

“With the features, we’ve developed specifically for Apple Pencil, we’re able to digitally emulate the paper and pencil sketching paradigm and provide a unique and compelling 3D modeling experience on iPad devices,” said Christopher Cronin, vice president, and general manager at Trimble SketchUp. “The ability to create new designs and conceptual ideas whenever inspiration strikes and review and update SketchUp models on the go, whether on the job site, in a coffee shop, or while meeting with clients, is something our professional users are requesting. We’re excited to deliver a solution that fits how SketchUp users want to work today and into the future.”

Unique Features

SketchUp for iPad introduces some unique features such as Autoshape, Markup Mode, and AR model viewing. These features leverage the unique capabilities of iPad devices and their supported accessories.

Early access to SketchUp for iPad is open to a limited number of users and granted on a first-come, first-serve basis. To sign up, visit https://www.sketchup.com/products/sketchup-for-ipad. Those who are selected to participate will be notified via email and provided with detailed instructions on how to access the SketchUp for iPad beta.

Architosh Analysis and Commentary

Architosh was an early invite to SketchUp for iPad and we are enthusiastic about this development from Trimble. Other software companies, but most notably Budapest-based Shapr3D—a company we highlighted in our fourth annual INSIDER Reports issue—have clearly demonstrated the potential of robust 3D modeling on a tablet device using input tools such as Apple Pencil or an attached keyboard. On the latter, as Apple pushes the frontiers of CPU power with the M1 chip in the iPad Pro line, these machines are meant to function like touch-screen laptops and possess exactly the same CPU/GPU power as Apple’s laptop computers. 

MORE: Rising Stars — Five Tech Firms and their Impact and Innovations

We see this trend moving forward for other CAD and 3D apps as well as user-interface techniques continue to advance for the multitouch gesture and Apple Pencil input, it is more than possible to model on a touch-based device, there are actually benefits in some cases depending on the tool and situation. 

With mobility more important than ever, due in part to the global pandemic, Trimble’s timing with SketchUp for iPad is spot on. 

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