SketchUp Mobile Viewer 5.0 - Android solutions

Lots of changes and updates are being made to the SketchUp Mobile viewers. I wanted to open a topic for common issues and their fixes on Android devices.

Difficulty Logging In:
I’ll start with the latest issue I am seeing. Some users are having a tough time getting SketchUp viewer to let them sign in. I see comments like “After the new update I am unable to sign in. All I get is a loading screen.” or “I can’t log in after installing the app. Isn’t there a solution?” and YES, there is a solution. For authentication, SketchUp Viewer on Android requires the Chrome browser to be enabled. It does not have to be your default browser, just installed and enabled. You may be able to uninstall Chrome after login (I haven’t tested that), but once you have Chrome enabled, it should let you log right in.

Slow Responsiveness / Crashing While Loading Large Models:
Currently, SketchUp Mobile Viewer is built to view models up to 10mb in size. I’ve seen examples of successfully viewing models 20 or 30mb in size, but it becomes less reliable as the size increases. There are workarounds, creating scenes and turning off unneeded layers (layers that are not currently being viewed in a scene), reducing complex textures, using entourage components (chairs, foliage, vehicles) with simpler geometry. Possibly using extensions like CleanUp3, or following tips from the Agile Modeler’s Guide. If you have a technique that works for you, share it with the community!

Crash on Launch
This type of issue is a bit harder to pin down, but 9 out of 10 times the solution lies in the following procedure:

  • Erase App Data by going to Settings > Apps > SketchUp > Storage > and click “Clear Cache” and then “Clear Data”
  • If that doesn’t help, go to Settings > Apps > SketchUp > and click “Force Stop” then “Uninstall” before reinstalling to see if that makes a difference
  • I have heard that a bad SD Card has caused issues in one or two cases, so try removing it if inserted
  • Make sure you’re up-to-date with your Android OS and also that your device isn’t “rooted” / “jailbroken”

Also, to answer some of the concerns I see in the Google Play Store.

  • Why doesn’t it was open big files? While mobile devices are becoming more powerful every year, they are still not a substitute for an actual laptop/desktop computer. There are significant limitations to what they are capable of doing and that includes manipulating large SketchUp models. My Samsung Note 8 has less than half the memory of my iMac Pro. Until mobile devices start shipping with 16GB of RAM, I would stick as closely as possible to the 10MB file limitation. Can you open larger files? Yes, but it is very much hardware dependent.

  • Why is the app so concerned with gaining access to my contacts? SketchUp Viewer doesn’t really care about your contacts. None of that information is transmitted or used in any way OTHER than to authenticate the uniqueness of the user and device.

  • Why are all my files grayed out? This is usually attributed to MIME file type associations. In other words, when your device sees an .skp file, if those files have not be associated with SketchUp Viewer, it may not know what to do with them. This is usually caused by installing a different .skp file viewer on your device before SketchUp. At that point, your device thinks that all .skp files should be opened by that application. You can find a solution for changing the default app association in Android by reading this article.