Autodesk Butterfly took off, literally, with its formal release as AutoCAD WS and AutoCAD WS Mobile over the past few days. Both were supposed to be announced on September 30th (US time) but social media changed that as Shaan explains in his post (extracts below):
“While we expected the new products and services to be popular, we did not expect the massive amount of new accounts and data. On September 29th the AutoCAD WS Mobile app appeared in the Apple iTunes App Store (http://www.itunes.com/app/autocad-ws) for FREE. We were not planning to announce it with a press release until September 30th at 8am EST. This provided us a day buffer for testing and to make sure the apps were approved and in the app store. This is where the awesome power and effect of social media comes in.
Someone noticed the new AutoCAD WS Mobile for Apple iPad, Apple iPhone, and Apple iPod Touch as well as the AutoCAD WS web page content and mentioned it on Twitter, and it spread like wildfire across social media across the world.” [cont…]
The result was amazing:
“Within the first 24 hours of availability of the AutoCAD WS mobile application on the iTunes App Store, it was been downloaded over 125,000 times. Over 80,000 new user accounts were created and more than 35,000 drawings have been uploaded.” [cont…]
What are AutoCAD WS & AutoCAD WS Mobile?
AutoCAD WS is a browser based dwg editor & AutoCAD WS Mobile currently supports Apple iOS devices. The AutoCAD WS service provides cloud storage for your drawing files. They require an account but the AutoCAD WS applications & service are free to use.
Now anyone can access, view, mark-up and edit dwg files without requiring AutoCAD, or even a PC. It’s not a complete CAD solution but is sufficient for collaboration, editing and review of drawing files. There are share & timeline tools to enable & track revisions as AutoCAD WS keeps a previous versions history. The video below shows it in action:
Trying AutoCAD WS & AutoCAD WS Mobile:
If you tested Autodesk Labs Butterfly use the same account sign-on for AutoCAD WS and all your Butterfly data will be available. If you are a new user and have an Autodesk Single Sign On Account (i.e. Subscription, Discussion Group or Community) you can use that with AutoCAD WS.
AutoCAD WS Mobile
AutoCAD WS Mobile is a free app which allows you to edit, mark-up & modify dwg files on the iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch. I’ve had a quick play with AutoCAD WS on my iPhone 3GS (iOS4) and found it amazingly responsive. Yesterday the service seemed a bit slow but has been better today. After seeing Shaan’s post that’s understandable!
It has colour & greyscale view option, tools for sharing (transfer encrypted for security). You upload files via the AutoCAD WS web site or from within AutoCAD using the new AutoCAD WS Plug-in.
Anybody can use & upload to AutoCAD WS via a web browser based UI. It has a reasonable selection of drawing & editing tools presented in a ribbon/tab UI. Although similar to AutoCAD it has a different feel with the tools & input aimed at non-CAD users (no command line!). It supports xrefs (automatically uploaded with their parent file) and support files like CTB/STB, fonts to ensure your drawing looks correct. AutoCAD (& vertical) Subscription users can access a plug-in to integrate AutoCAD WS access/upload into their application.
I’ll be covering AutoCAD WS in future posts but it builds on the capabilities seen in the Butterfly Preview.
AutoCAD WS & WS Mobile are running fine on my hardware. I have accessed & edited drawings on my iPhone 3GS (iOS4) and Windows 7 64 desktop which is running IE9 Beta, current Chrome & Flash 10. I tried Butterfly on a Mac with no problems and presume WS will match that.
The only impact I have found so far is a need delete one autocorrect entry in my ActiveWords database (right). When I typed AutoCAD WS it instantly changed to AutoCAD WAS! :)
Get AutoCAD WS, demos & related plug ins at AutoCAD WS - www.autocadws.com