Architects often do their design work in out-of office places where the only logical device to use is either a tablet or a laptop san mouse, like in an airplane, at a coffee shop, or a construction site. In most of these settings a tablet is much more convenient. Most of these out-of-office spaces do not come with mouse friendly environments.
SketchUp support recently responded to an email I sent them regarding this issue and replied with:
“SketchUp works best with a 3 wheel mouse (http://help.sketchup.com/en/article/36208). As we have not experience with stylus please post your question on the forum (forums.sketchup.com) and ask the community for suggestions.”
The interesting part of this comment is the admission that they “have not experience with stylus” and recommend a three-button mouse with a wheel. The three-button mouse works well for the dedicated model builder but not so well for the designer who is usually doing a lot of other things and is on the go … often designing on the go.
The best example of this type of designer (in this case an architect) is Jim Cutler (Jim designed Bill and Malinda Gate’s house). Many years ago he told me he wanted a digital tablet he could take on the airplane (where he does most of his design work) and that he wanted it to work like, and as well as, pencil and paper.
Given the recent announcements from Apple (iPadPro) and Microsoft (Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book) I suspect he is in designer heaven, given one of these new tablets, the associated stylus, and SketchUp … opps, but SketchUp is not designed to support (well) the use of a stylus … sounds like it is time for the team to play catchup with SketchUp.
Ok, just so you know the full story. I love SketchUp and have great respect for the SketchUp team …I knew a few of the guys during their early days with @Last Software … and think they have done a great job with the product. I also respect Trimble for giving the team a good home.
I just think it is time for the SketchUp team to think in terms of the stylus and how to support the stylus-user in the same insanely great way they have all the mousers.
Mike Riddle, the original author/programmer of AutoCAD said, “The competition for AutoCAD is not coming from some other program, it’s pencil and paper.”
And, isn’t it interesting to note that one of the original logos for SketchUp was a simple sketch on a napkin … drawn with a pencil.