Originally published in 2016; revised in 2024. 

We know the work you do is critical and finding the right tools to support your daily tasks can be difficult. You never know when you may need to review a particular aspect of a project—which is why it’s great to have every tool you need conveniently located on your smartphone. NCARB doesn’t endorse any apps (besides our own—available for Apple and Android), but we did scour the internet for the best recommended architectural tools. Here are 10 apps to check out, whether you’re studying architecture or working in a firm—most are free, but some offer in-app purchases or subscription plans:

  1. AutoCAD Mobile App
    The Autodesk brand is familiar to most professionals who have ever worked on a design project. The AutoCAD mobile application allows you to create, edit, and view AutoCAD and Revit files on your phone.
  2. Morpholio Trace Pro
    Created by and for architects, Morpholio Trace Pro is one of the most powerful apps for drawing and sketching for architects. The app allows you to easily draw on top of imported images, PDFs, maps, 3D models, and more. It also will allow you to store, organize, share, and collaborate with others. Morpholio Trace Pro features commenting abilities that allow you to easily jot your ideas.
  3. ARki
    Want to visualize your 3D projects in augmented reality? Then ARki is for you! ARki is a powerful app used to help create interactive presentations. ARki also allows you to store files locally for offline access.
  4. ArchiSnapper 5
    ArchiSnapper 5 specializes in efficiently drafting field reports during and after site visits without any hassles. The app features tools that allow architects to document items, take pictures, add text, make annotations, and leave comments.
  5. MagicPlan
    MagicPlan is a must have sketching application designed for architects. Users can create and share floor plans, field reports, and estimates. This app also uses your camera to measure rooms and suggest work estimates, all of which you can easily edit and export.
  6. Shapr3D
    Need to view your 3D models on the go? This is the perfect app for you. With this app, you can easily access all of your 3D models whenever and wherever you want. Shapr3D supports finger-based interactions and is also compatible with the Apple pencil—making your sketch easier to create.
  7. ArchiMaps
    ArchiMaps serves as an architectural guide for various building and construction projects. The app allows you to explore the map from your current location to learn information about nearby buildings.
  8. SketchUp        
    Looking for an easier way to make your ideas come to life? The SketchUp app is an architectural sketching and design app that includes a tape measure tool, section panes, and scene animations to assist you in creating the perfect sketch. Sketchup also includes features that allow you to view models in 3-D and save to Trimble Connect or Dropbox for offline use.
  9. BIMx
    BIMx lets users virtually explore 3-D models and access 2-D construction documents so you can share your work with contractors and clients on the go.
  10. My AXP (iOS/Android)
    Last, but surely not least, NCARB’s app! If you’re working toward completing your experience requirement, this app is a must-have. View, edit, and submit work experience on the go with ease. You can also check your progress at any time.