SketchUp iOS?


#1

Now that we have the iPad Pro and pencil, it would be really nice to have SketchUp for iOS. No, not your web version–that requires wifi. Shapr3D is an excellent 3D app for iOS. We could use that; it exports to SketchUp. But then we have to learn two apps and pay for two subscriptions. Not a crisis, but …


#2

I find the ipad 3d apps fun to use but only for light prototyping and sketching, without a 3buttin mouse it’s not ideal for any real work. SketchUp would have to be completely re-architected, a spin off companion product, now that I could get behind. But not in favour of diluting the main system in favour of touch screen capability.


#3

Obviously a spinoff companion but currently you can use Shapr3D and export to SketchUp. Shapr is not a toy, it’s a serious pro app.


#4

I guess it depends on your definition of Pro, in terms of apps it’s very mature but for 3D software it’s pretty basic for a CAD package.

It’s handy for brainstorming and sketching ideas but it can’t compete with any serious package. We have used it in work for this.

It’s not just the interface but mobile chipsets just don’t have the power to work with models over a certain size.


#5

I get your point. I’m a furniture maker so being able to ‘sketch’ in 3D with the pencil and see the proportions in space work for me. Export to SketchUp desktop for the heavy lifting. But iPads etc are getting more powerful and I think that will continue. Not a platform to ignore.


#6

Note that desktop-wise, Linux use has not yet risen to the point of being economical for a SketchUp port.

Operating System Marketshare (Desktop / Laptop)


But mobile or tablet platform market share is a different story …

Operating System Marketshare (Mobile)

Operating System Marketshare (Tablet)

However, the percentages are not equal. The number of consumers running desktop and laptop are much higher than that running Tablet. (This data may be available out there, but I do not have a link.)


But, what we do not know is how many or what percentage of SketchUp users would buy a tablet edition, either stand-alone or complimentary to their desktop edition license. (So we cannot say whether the user base would support such development costs.)

It is not likely that desktop licensees would get a free tablet license. Porting code to another OS is expensive, and the cost must be offset for the engineering and later ongoing maintenance. (A discount license bundle might be an option, if that makes sense to the marketeers.)

This is not the first request for tablet SketchUp, and in the other threads some people promoted the idea that paying Pro licensees should be able to use a tablet edition free because they couldn’t be using the Desktop edition at the same time.
But this puts the cost of development, deployment and maintenance upon other paying customers who have no wish or need to run on tablet or mobile.

It just turned out that there are some technologies that can “translate” desktop code to web-based platforms. This allowed easy and fast development of the SketchUp browser app, which can run on Chromebooks and Tablets if they can run a browser. It was the obvious choice to make rather than port to ChromeOS and Android and iOS.

Also, SketchUp is a desktop application that is designed for a keyboard and a 3 button mouse. To accommodate a pencil, the interfaces for the tools would need redesigning. Many tools need SHIFT and CTRL/CMD modifier keys. SU also uses the arrow keys for axis locks.
(Basically the interface would need on screen toggle buttons for these modifiers, as well as on screen context menu button and view control buttons that work in interruptor mode like the middle mouse button. Not difficult but still a departure from the normal desktop interface. A slide-out on screen numeric keypad for the value control box would also help if no keyboard were attached. Things like this would also benefit the browser-based app.)

I’d say if this FR ever happens, it be a SketchUp Mobile Lite edition with many features stripped out.


Announcing SketchUp Shop
#7

One thing that might make financial sense would be to give everyone a tablet version for free, and for that you get the features in the current Free version, only modified to work with gestures to reduce the number of modifier keys that might be needed. Then, if you happen to be logged into your SketchUp Pro account, you get Layout, StyleBuilder, and other Pro features, working on the tablet.

The tablet version then becomes an incentive for people to pay for SketchUp Pro.


#8

I would like to see such an app myself, and SU Free could almost do that, but for the interface problems. I wonder if SU Free could recognize when it’s run in a tablet based browser (it already does and warns you it won’t work too well), and present interface elements specific for a tablet. One kludge perhaps is a virtual mouse that you push around on screen with your finger or pencil and use other gestures to input the clicks and other modifiers. Can’t be as fast as the real thing, but it could leverage what already exists in the web app.

You can run SU Free on a Chromebook, but I personally have no interest in adding that to my equipment garage. Of course if Apple added support for a mouse in iOS to make it more competitive with Chromebooks in schools, that would change things.


#9

“SketchUp is a desktop application that is designed for a keyboard and a 3 button mouse. To accommodate a pencil, the interfaces for the tools would need redesigning. Many tools need SHIFT and CTRL/CMD modifier keys. SU also uses the arrow keys for axis locks.
(Basically the interface would need on screen toggle buttons for these modifiers, as well as on screen context menu button and view control buttons that work in interruptor mode like the middle mouse button. Not difficult but still a departure from the normal desktop interface. A slide-out on screen numeric keypad for the value control box would also help if not keyboard were attached.”

I use a Wacom pen and tablet with my desktop and those things are built into the pen with a toggle switch and a tip click. I’ve also had several apps that added characters or functions to the on-screen iOS keyboard–like arrows. Not a big deal.


#10

I use a Wacom too. The trouble with iOS is that there’s no way to move and hover the cursor without also clicking. The way SU was designed, you need that ability. You can launch SU Free on an iPad, but without that hover ability, you can navigate a bit around, but you can’t really create anything meaningful.


#11

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