At PlanGrid, we’re at the forefront of bringing technology to the construction jobsite — but we also realize that sometimes the construction environment isn’t exactly tech-friendly. Outlets are rare, and devices are constantly exposed to dust, debris, water, and clumsy hands.
To get the most value out of your construction apps, we recommend having backup power on hand, and protecting your devices properly — just in case. (See what we did there?)
Feel the power: get a battery pack
The average battery life of an iPad can range from 5–10 hours, depending on the temperature outside and how you use it. Few of us can afford to stop working for hours while our devices recharge, so an external battery pack is a solid investment.
Our recommendation? Get a battery pack that’ll let you charge your device multiple times over. We’re big fans of the RAVPower Portable Charger, which has enough juice to charge an iPhone 6 ten times over. For something a little smaller (in power, size, and price), we recommend the AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank — a steal at under $30.
Stay protected: use a case
Ever dropped your phone and felt that pang of despair when you see the cracked screen? Construction jobsites can be rough on even the toughest equipment, and most smartphones and tablets simply aren’t built to be dropped, dirtied, or rained on.
Fortunately, there are a host of manufacturers making cases that are built to protect your tablet, even in the worst conditions. At PlanGrid, we love Otterbox cases (especially the Defender Series, which go through intense testing and come with Certified Drop Protection), for phones and tablets.
Urban Armour Gear is another of our favorite brands — their cases are tested to military standards, so you know a few bumps here and there aren’t going to put your device in danger.
TIP: If you have an Apple device, we strongly recommend investing in Apple Care.
Hands-free heaven: carry bags and vests
What do you do when you’re not using your tablet on the jobsite? Most pockets just aren’t big enough to house a tablet, especially when they’re in a protective case (which add bulk to any device).
Free your paws with an Otterbox Utility Latch II. This case comes with a variety of straps; you can wear it like a sling or hold it with your hand, and rotate the handle to use your tablet in portrait or landscape mode comfortably. As an added bonus, there’s a pouch for you to carry a few extra items (battery pack, stylus, notepad, pictures of your enemies, etc.).
If the sling-style doesn’t work for you, we suggest checking out FullSource’s iPad Pocket Safety Vests. They come in a variety of styles and colors, and will keep your tablet secure until you need to use it.
About the author: Erica joined PlanGrid in February 2014, and works with the Marketing team. Born in Canada and raised in Melbourne, Australia, she has a long and varied history in marketing, media, and advertising. Erica enjoys writing short biographies about herself and leaving parties early without saying goodbye.