Looks like Autodesk is acknowledging that Apple isn’t the only game in town when it comes to mobile devices. The 3-D design tool leader just announced a version of its AutoCAD WS mobile collaboration tool for the Android platform. Like its iPhone and iPad predecessor, Autodesk WS for Android leverages cloud computing technology to let engineering users, designers and architects view, edit and share designs through web browsers and mobile devices. AutoCAD WS lets users open drawings from email attachments, sync files from the web or upload drawings directly from AutoCAD software through the integrated online tab. Drawings can also be saved locally for use in the field when an Internet connection is unavailable.
There are a number of features new to this release and some specific to the Android version. For instance, AutoCAD WS for Android, which will be available for download on the Android Market starting April 20, offers a text annotation tools that supports integrated voice commands on devices running Android 2.2 (dubbed Froyo) or above. This capability lets Android users insert comments and notations on a drawing by speaking the commands rather than typing them into a text edit box.
Other capabilities surfacing in this latest AutoCAD WS release:
Plot to PDF (web app only): Users can publish their DWG drawing to PDF using the free AutoCAD WS web application just as they would with AutoCAD software.
Anywhere Storage (web and mobile apps): In addition to the AutoCAD WS cloud, customers can now connect directly to alternate storage folders from their Android, iPad and iPhone devices, as well as through the AutoCAD WS web application. This currently includes: the Autodesk Buzzsaw service, Dropbox (through DropDAV), Microsoft SharePoint, Windows Server 2008, Box.net, MobileMe, and Egnyte, in addition to other cloud storage providers who support the WebDAV protocol.
Hosted CAD or PDM systems is an emerging technology that offers many advantages over traditional on premise workstation CAD configurations and is making many companies rethink how to deliver future CAD software solutions.
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