Applications from software developers including Mark Systems and Simpad now reside on Apple’s near-ubiquitous iPad platform, and Autodesk’s AutoCAD WS mobile application for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch lets users edit and share AutoCAD designs in the field. “The platform’s independence of Java lets our customers choose the hardware and operating environment with full graphical access to all pertinent IHMS information without the need for a laptop or desktop computer,” says Scott Duman, Mark Systems’ vice president and chief technology officer. Simpad’s Blackpoint Builder Services iPad app can access a full set of plans from a master plan catalog, with view elevations of any plan and change requests using a finger as the mouse/stylus. BuilderMT president Tom Gebes says an iPad version of that software “is one of the top items on our list for our next release. We see this as a huge play with the iPad and other browser-based devices.”

Other companies are supporting user initiatives. Co-Construct CEO Donny Wyatt says his firm has no immediate plans for an iPad-specific edition but notes that builders can use Co-Construct on their 3G iPads via the company’s newly Apple-tweaked website. “It would have a nice ‘wow’ factor, but because of the screen size, our regular, Web-based service works really well on it,” he says. “I know we’ve had some builders who went and bought iPads specifically to use Co-Construct. We made a few tweaks to ensure compatibility, and the feedback has been great so far.”

But it’s not for everyone yet. For some, such as Sage, it’s a matter of waiting for market demand to arise, says spokesperson Monisha Khanna. Others cite technical reasons. “The Apple application development environment does not fit well with our C#, ASP.NET development framework,” explains Kova Solutions’ Jouko Vakiparta. Citing cost, input, and printing limitations, Constellation’s Chris Graham says the iPad isn’t a replacement for laptops just yet, but adds, “As the industry and our customers demand iPad functionality, we will add more support.”