PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog
Choosing the right hardware for your construction app

Choosing the right hardware for your construction app

We’re often quizzed by customers on which hardware we recommend for PlanGrid’s construction app, and we love this question — we are, after all, big fans of technology.

Whether it’s Apple, Android, or Windows, handheld devices are available in just about any size, price range, storage capacity, and level of durability — and PlanGrid’s construction app works on every single one of them.* But, like any tool, each one will have strengths and weaknesses depending on your situation.

A lot happens on the jobsite. Get a device that can keep up with the flow of real-time information on PlanGrid and withstand the physical rigors.

Whether your company is considering standardization across an entire project or you’re thinking about buying a device for yourself, we’ve created this guide to make sure you get the right hardware for your situation.

Happy shopping!

Tablets

It was the iPad that helped inspire PlanGrid, so it makes sense for PlanGrid to run beautifully on tablets of all kinds. Larger screens make sheet viewing a breeze, and more room for bigger batteries usually means longer battery life.

A tablet is perfect for you if:

  • You regularly look at sheets while out in the field
  • You need to send emails or share plan snapshots while you’re on the go
  • You need a long battery life

It’s worth noting that some tablets don’t have cellular network connectivity, so they may not be able to communicate without WiFi. This isn’t an issue for PlanGrid, though; it saves any changes you make while offline, and will sync automatically as soon as you reconnect to the internet.

Our customers love:

Smartphones

Smartphones are fantastic — most of us already have one in our pocket, they’re almost always connected to cellular or internet, and their size makes them ultra convenient.

A smartphone will suit you if:

  • You already have an iPhone or Android phone — just install PlanGrid, and you’re off!
  • You can only carry one device and already have your smartphone with you
  • You do a lot of reporting on (and inspecting of) issues and adding progress photos to plans, rather than just sheet viewing

Our customers love:

Unlike tablets, smartphones are usually connected to a cellular network, so sending and receiving updates on the jobsite is a breeze. Remember, though, every service provider has different coverage areas, so find out which provider offers the best cellular coverage in the areas you’re going to spend most of your time.

Windows computer/laptop/tablet

A lot of popular construction software (e.g. Primavera, Excel, Revit, Navisworks) runs on Windows, and PlanGrid is no exception. Our Windows version will keep you going, whether you’re on your desktop computer, laptop, or Surface tablet.

Our customers love:

Other things to consider before buying hardware

  • Make sure your computer has at least 8GB of RAM to help you run multiple programs at once.
  • A large hard drive on a computer (at least 256GB) is essential. Blueprints take up a lot of space.
  • External monitors are a great way to add screen real estate without breaking the bank.
  • Taking a lot of progress photos? Consider camera quality. Find a device that shoots well in all light conditions, not just perfect sunlight.
  • How much abuse is it going to take? Check for waterproof, dust-proof, and drop-proof devices (or get a protective case, like an Otterbox).
  • Buying an Apple device? We strongly recommend buying directly from Apple for the best warranty coverage.
  • Many Android devices come with SD card slots that allow you to expand storage. SD cards are cheap, but make sure you buy a high quality one — nobody likes losing data! Look for SDXC, Class 10, or U1 logos.

Ready to try PlanGrid on your shiny new device? Download it for iPhone/iPad, Android, or Windows.

As always, if you need any help, reach out to support@plangrid.com.

*Minimum operating system requirements: Android 4.4 (Android), iOS 9 (iPhone and iPad), Windows 7 (Windows)


Author: Mark Vulfson

PlanGrid

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