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Are you wondering how to build a construction calculator app?
The global construction industry is expected to reach 10.5 trillion US dollars by 2023. Construction technology market opportunities are also expanding in line with this growth in the construction industry.
In this article, we will touch on how you can invest in the construction technology market by developing an app that helps constructors. We will be discussing how to build and release a construction calculator app in detail. So, let’s start.
Why Build a Construction Calculator App?
Construction calculator apps are helping with the digital transformation being undertaken by the construction industry. These apps are making things easier for architects, builders, contractors, civil engineers, and designers alike. Using a construction calculator app, they can:
1. Solve complex mathematical calculations. For example, a feet inch fraction calculator can help with the volume of an area, the steepness of a slope, etc.
2. Give correct estimates that save time and money through material estimators. For example, a concrete calculator can help to estimate the required construction material for a specific project.
3. Construction projects are complex, even a slight bad estimate of the required materials can cause significant delays in the construction process. Similarly, a slight miscalculation in design can cause significant problems in the overall structure, etc.
A good construction calculator app can make the process easier and more efficient for all, from engineers and architects to carpenters and handymen present on the job site.
Features of a Construction Calculator App
The following features will make your construction calculator app both valuable and reliable for professionals working in the construction industry:
1. Dimensional math and conversions: Options like a feet-inch fraction, yards, decimal feet, decimal inches, full metric, etc.
2. Area and volume solutions: Including length, width, and height inputs, square and cubic formats, advanced circular calculations, weight per volume function, etc.
3. Right angle calculations: For rafter calculations like stair calculators, diagonal rafters, etc.
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4. Advanced functions: Including trigonometric functions, cost-per-unit calculations, user-defined functions, material estimation for carpentry, landscaping, electrical work, etc.
Build a Construction Calculator App
You will go through the following steps to create a construction calculator app:
Outline your App Requirements
Decide the functionalities of your construction calculator app. You can do market research to find what competitor apps are providing to the users as a paid or free construction calculator app.
Document all the functional and non-functional requirements of your software application for your app development team.
Build your App Development Team
To build a market-competitive app, you will need to hire freelance developers from a hybrid software development company. You will need the fill the following skills:
- UX/UI designer;
- Backend developers;
- App tester;
- Project manager.
Choose your Infrastructure
Now, you have to decide the development infrastructure for your construction calculation app. The app infrastructure will include a backend server, data storage, networking, and everything else needed for the development, deployment, and maintenance of your software application.
A cloud-based infrastructure is the best option to choose as your operational and computational infrastructure will be managed by a cloud provider. Your software app developers will then be able to focus solely on application development.
Amazon Web Services is the leading provider of cloud computing services, achieving $150 billion in revenue last year. AWS provides several cloud services that will help your software developers to develop a secure and scalable app efficiently.
Some AWS cloud services include data storage, networking tools, developer tools, application security, etc.
Microsoft Azure is another cloud computing service provider. Read a comparison of both Azure and AWS on our blog here.
Select your App Development Methodology
The right app development methodology will allow your project manager to structure, plan, and control the application development process effectively.
Your project will be rewarded with a better allocation of resources and timely delivery of work by the developers when you choose the right one for your requirements.
Agile methodology is commonly used for app development. Almost 71% of organizations are reported to be using agile methodology, at least part of the time.
Agile frameworks like scrum allow developers to work as small cross-functional teams. There are daily standups and weekly scrum meetings to review the project’s progress.
Learn more about using a scrum framework for your app development in our blog post on the topic.
Design a Mobile App Interface
An intuitive and easy-to-use user interface is a critical part of construction apps. Users should be able to navigate the app and perform complex calculations through readable fonts and themes.
Your UX/UI designers should be able to use design tools like Marvel and Invision to build app mockup templates efficiently.
Develop a Minimum Viable Product
Now, your app developers can start building the core functionalities of the construction calculator app. Software engineers nowadays follow a minimum viable product approach while developing complex apps.
A minimum viable product contains all the essential functionalities of the desired software product. The MVP is released in the user market. The user’s feedback on the app’s features lets the development team build a product according to the user’s needs.
Billion-dollar companies like Amazon and Spotify use the MVP approach. They save a fortune in the development, testing, and marketing of a product as a result.
To build an MVP version of a construction calculator, your software developers need to have the following technical expertise.
Mobile Application Development
The mobile user market is expanding rapidly. 97% of Americans now own a smartphone of some kind. A mobile app also presents innovative marketing opportunities.
There are two options to build a construction calculator mobile app; a native app or a hybrid app.
Native Mobile App:
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Native apps are built for a specific mobile device. The app’s performance is optimized for specific mobile hardware and the focus operating system. iOS and Android are the top two mobile OS in use today.
iOS App Development
Your app developers should be familiar with the Apple development ecosystem to develop a native iOS app for Apple products like iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, etc.
It includes Apple development tools like XCode IDE, Apple-recommended programming language like Swift, app design architecture like Model-View-Controller (MVC), etc.
Swift programming language has an easy English-like syntax and a rich library of development components to help iOS developers build a robust mobile app.
For example, for a construction calculator app, your app developers can use Swift’s MathEagle framework to work with complex mathematical calculations.
Your iOS developers should also be familiar with Apple APIs to enhance app functionalities efficiently. Some of the APIs and frameworks include:
TextKit to manage text storage and display of text-based content;
Public-private key authentication to enable users to stay signed in by saving their passwords;
Data Formatting to convert numbers and other measurements from string representations;
User Notifications to push important and personalized app notifications;
iOSMath to work with mathematical calculations and display them attractively.
Android App Development:
To build a constructor calculator app for Android users, your app developers should be skilled in Android development tools and frameworks.
Kotlin and Java are commonly-used programming languages for Android app development.
Kotlin has an extensive Math library to work with complex mathematical computations.
You can read more on choosing between Java and Kotlin for Android development in our blog post here.
Your app developers should be familiar with Android app development IDEs like Android Studio and tools like Android Jetpack.
Android Jetpack provides many libraries to develop Android app features like:
- Navigation to build app user layout;
- Data binding to bind UI components to data sources;
- Room to create and manage persistent data, etc.
Hybrid App Development:
Hybrid apps work on multiple mobile operating systems. The app developers work on a single code base, using common web technologies. The code is then deployed in a native container to run on a specific device.
Your app developers can use tools and frameworks like Xamarin and ReactNative.
React Native provides several development components and APIs to make app development efficient. Some of these include text, view, stylesheet, image, etc.
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Your developers can use packages like React-native-math for rendering mathematical equations in a react native app.
Xamarin also has a rich development library for data binding, user interface, navigation, notification, etc.
Xamarin MathExpression Converter is a comprehensive toolkit to work with mathematical calculations in runtime.
Web Application Development
You can also create a web application for your construction calculator project. This will allow your users to access it on their web browsers, making work convenient for them.
They should be familiar with web development frameworks like Angular and Django.
Test your Minimum Viable Product
After developing the core app features, your app developers and testers will perform a code review and functional testing to ensure the construction calculator app is working as expected.
There are numerous tools available to assist developers with app testing. For example, XCTest for iOS apps, Espresso for Android apps, and Appium for both native and hybrid apps.
Once your development team is sure that the app is bug-free, you can release it on the app stores it was designed for, i.e. Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Release your App
After the app release, you will work to gather user feedback. You can ask them to leave their reviews, fill out survey forms, etc.
You will collect statistics like active app users, download and launch rate, user ratings, etc.
You can use tools like TypeForm and UserEcho for this purpose.
Improve your MVP
After collecting the required app usage data, perform analytics on it, and use the results to improve your MVP.
Manage your Construction Calculator App
Software app maintenance is necessary to keep up with upgrades and changing user needs.
Map out a maintenance plan with your developers, keeping in mind the latest trends in the construction industry. You may have to upgrade features, remove obsolete functions, update security procedures, etc.
Final Thoughts on Building Calculator App for Constructors
Developing a software application to meet the complex calculation requirements of the construction industry can be a daunting task with a steep learning curve. You will need app developers who are expert software engineers and have sound domain knowledge of construction mathematics.
You can easily find such developers at DevTeam.Space if you need them. You can get in touch by filling out this form explaining your construction calculator app requirements. One of our technical managers will contact you to answer any questions that you have and to link you with suitable app developers.
Top FAQs on How to Build a Construction Calculator App
Top construction calculator apps like Calculated Industries, Construction Master Calculator, Dewalt Mobile Pro, and Drywall Construction Calc Pro provide all-in-one apps with features like advanced mathematical calculations, material estimations, reference illustrations, etc.
To build a construction calculator with a limited budget and technical resources, partner with a software development company. You can outsource experienced app developers and testers according to your project needs at each app development stage.
You can monetize your construction calculator app in several ways, like,
Running paid advertisements on otherwise free apps;
Providing in-app purchases for add-on features like advanced construction math;
Providing yearly or monthly subscriptions to advanced design illustrations and other construction resources.