Trimble Connect App vs Trimble Connect inside Sketchup for iPad

I believe it’s time that the Trimble Connect for iPad App starts looking at the iPad as an editor device instead of a viewer device.

I’ve been thinking this since I bought the M1 iPad and integrated it in my workflow as an editor device. This has become much stronger with Sketchup for iPad as it has become a huge part of my workflow.

As a result I now have a desktop and a tablet and I have ceased using a laptop. The work I do in the desktop is complemented with the work I do in iPad and if Trimble Connect is working fine for the desktop, it is under par for the iPad.

Trimble has invested in Sketchup for iPad from a simple viewer towards an editor with capabilities that are exclusive to iPad. There are a lot more editors for other files. Autodesk, Adobe, Affinity, Microsoft have invested in editors since a lot of time and those are editors that we architects use. If our file and cloud systems are to be Trimble Connect, then we need it to work with the devices we use.

This makes double sense to architects that use SketchUp as our main architectural apps from conception to construction documentation and on the construction site.

So, for people like me, Trimble Connect for iPad should be a true file management system on the iPad, it should start dealing with all sort of files we use in iPad apps, and it should work as other cloud apps work in the iPad. This includes an alternative way to how it deals with Sketchup for iPad:

Trimble Connect Vs iPad Apps:

I think it’s time that trimble connect for iPad is able to open/share selected files with other iPad apps. It is able to do so with certain files like PDF files, but it should be able to do it with any file. We should be able to open Affinity files, photoshop files, word, excel and powerpoint files, pdf, jpg, png, dwg, ifc, rvt or any other file in whatever App we choose to do so in the iPad. Of course, this means we should be able to open a Sketchup file from Trimble Connect file inside Sketchup for iPad as an option, instead of opening it in the Trimble Connect App.

Trimble Connect App to Sync certain files and folders for offline availability:

We should be able to sync files and folders from Trimble Connect Projects into Trimble Connect for iPad. Those folders should stay in Sync and any file edits that we would make in them on the iPad should be able to be sent to cloud exactly as it happens in Trimble Connect Sync for Desktop. For this to happen Trimble Connect should be available as an option for us to share files to, from within other apps. This would allow us to send a file from Affinity Designer to Trimble Connect and insert it into a specific folder, which would mean the file would be sent to cloud as soon as a Trimble Connect sync takes place.

Trimble Connect could work as a Cloud App:

It is a cloud storage service and, in terms of storage capacity, it is the best I know of, but unlike iCloud, OneDrive, DropBox, Google Drive, Box and so on, iPad apps can’t use it offline or online. They can’t access it directly, it’s not available. It is only working as a viewer app not a file system app.

It should be available as a Cloud service and it doesn’t need to be permanently on sync. It could be available in iPad Files, or in any other app, we should be able to store files in Trimble as a Cloud service, and still it could send files to cloud only manually or daily… These would mean that traffic would still be low and on demand, not constant. Exactly like desktop. Managed in Trimble Connect app, as a Trimble Connect Sync for iPad.

Trimble Connect for iPad as an offline sync with desktop

This would be unvaluable. If Trimble Connect would be able to sync, offline, via wifi or usb cable to a desktop/laptop computer that also used Trimble Connect Sync we would be able to sync between devices, without using internet traffic and it would be direct. Files didn’t need to go to the cloud and then downloaded to iPad. Transfer times would be direct and fast.

We would then be able to finish a last minute model in Desktop and leave with it to a meeting or to construction site in iPad without an hassle.

We would be able to do this with models, but also with powerpoint files, pdf, photoshop and dwg files.

I’m doing this with Documents App, but I’d rather do it with Trimble Connect as, that way, all would be permanently synced between me and my team via cloud and on all devices. That way, I could receive files in my iPad from my desktop or from any other collaborator that would have Trimble Connect. I could go to a meeting with the powerpoint made by me, the model made by a collaborator and the renders made by another and the ipad would sync all that, from different computers via LAN in a zip. Not in the car, using slow and expensive data for transfering our heavy files.