AutoCAD WS, the highly successful free platform-independent DWG files viewer, markup, and collaboration tool, available as a mobile app (ideal for remote access and fieldwork), and also available as a web app (for easy sharing, drawings reviews, and collaboration), turns a new leaf today to show us a sneak preview into the CAD of tomorrow where loyalties to an OS become irrelevant and the choices of devices open up for all users.
Wow, that's a long sentence with a lot of promise. So what is the reality:
- AutoCAD WS has a new name: AutoCAD 360. It now reflects the commitment Autodesk is making to the Cloud with the Autodesk 360 Service and Storage offerings.
- Look for this new AutoCAD 360 as a mobile app that will replace the old AutoCAD WS starting today from your mobile devices' app stores.
- New mobile features include a "smart pen" that helps you sketch ideas faster, simplify and improve fieldwork with some additional tools.
- AutoCAD 360 Mobile will be available in three versions: FREE, Pro, and Pro Plus.
- AutoCAD 360 Web App is also being introduced: released as a full public "beta" it has a redesigned user interface focused on ease of use and collaboration. Thus new app is HTML5 based and it will eventually replace the AutoCAD WS Web App eventually.
- Look for this new "360" branding to expand into all of Autodesk's web and mobile apps.
- FREE: This free version will not differ significantly from the old AutoCAD WS mobile app. You can easily view, edit and share DWG files from any smartphone or tablet running iOS or Android OS. Simplify site visits (take your drawings with you, not a big roll of paper); fast and easy design review for your client, partners and supervisors; collaborate with team members remotely, even access the same drawings on the web on any computer with a browser. Plus 5Gig of free storage.
- PRO: starting at $4.99/month (or $49.99/year), you gain access to more tools. You can create new drawings from scratch; larger file support (30MB DWG files); easily view, markup and edit drawings from popular sites like Dropbox, Box, Egnyte, Buzzsaw and custom WebDAV connections; addition of coordinates points for better drawing accuracy; Arc and Arrow drawing tools added; more drawing tools like Extended Vertex, Offset and Mirror; advanced Layer management (add, rename, isolate, invert and lock); view object properties (layer, length, area); view, edit and add block attributes; access a drawing's blocks to add and place in the file; more measuring and dimensioning tools; AND Priority Support (you are paying for it after all. Plus free storage up to 25Gig.
- PRO PLUS: for $99.99/year, you get all the features of the PRO version, with drawing files size increase to 40MB and access to 100Gig of storage.
Or explore it all now at http://www.autocad360.com (replaces the old site at http://www.autocadws.com), sign up for free account and see where the future of CAD is headed whether you are ready for it or not. Be aware though: you need to use a modern webbrowser like Google Chrome for best results.