Becoming the first CAD vendor to port its CAD software to all four mobile operating systems, Graebert GmbH announced last week that its ARES CAD software package will soon run on Google’s Android-based tablets (code-named Radon). The product will be officially released in the Fall. So far the reviews in terms of performance have been good, according to the company’s Alpha testers.
Radon uses the same 2D/3D CAD engine that powers its ARES Commander Edition software, which runs on MS Windows, Apple Mac OS X and Linux. Radon natively reads and saves files to DWG, enabling users to use the same 2D drafting and 3D modeling functionality across all operating systems and platforms. The software will operate on mobile platforms just as it does on desktop versions, bringing true CAD mobility to users.
Through Radon, developers will be able to offer the same functionality and features on both tablets and desktops, while maintaining the same core stream of code. Graebert is somewhat of a pioneer in platform support, being first CAD vendors to port their solution to the Mac platform back in 2010. The software reportedly already runs well on the Windows 8 tablet.
Why Graebert is going mobile
So why is Graebert so keen on pursuing the mobile CAD market, one in which several vendors have dipped their toes, but few have fully embraced? According to Graebert CEO Robert Graebert, Android was selected as the next logical platform because it has the largest market share and tablets, in general, were chosen because they are expected to dominate desktop/laptop sales over the next year.
“While tablets will not replace the desktop experience anytime soon, we believe they should be the natural extension of your PC. End-users and developers will use both and as such expect much more than a viewer on mobile devices,” says Graebert. “Radon offers the full 2D/3D CAD experience within an intuitive user interface designed for touch but offering the performance and consistency of the desktop experience. By 2017, there will be 5 touch devices (smartphones + tablets) shipped for each PC and we fully intend to be the go-to solution for handheld devices long before then.”
The company decided to make this announcement way out ahead of its planned October release, because it would like an extended beta testing period to enable more developers to create supporting apps. If you are interested in being a beta tester for Radon, sign up to obtain the closed, limited Beta of Radon here.
The pricing dilemma
One of the reasons why so few vendors are developing mobile CAD apps is the low price point traditionally associated with mobile apps in general. We discussed this pricing quandary in a November post Is CAD Becoming More Portable?
Pricing for Radon has yet to be released and won’t be until the product is ready in October. Ralph Grabowski, editor of upFront.eZine, compiled some interesting research on mobile CAD apps and the question of pricing. His research concluded that CAD vendors do not get more downloads of their software when the price is cheap. Check out his research on mobile CAD pricing here.