Whether you are an iPhone lover or hater, they are everywhere! The type of phone you have is obviously irrelevant for woodworking, but in case you are one of the many people who hold an iPhone daily, there are a number of applications (apps) that can help you with your woodworking projects. Software for these apps can be easily purchased through the Apple apps store and that can be done directly on the phone itself, or through iTunes on the user’s computer.
Purchasing and downloading an app is incredibly easy and feasible as the cost is minimal (some free, and the majority being around $0.99) and takes mere seconds to download to your handheld device. As I looked through the Apps Store on my home computer, I thought I might show you some of the woodworking related applications I have found that you might find useful to your woodworking adventures!
There are a couple of conversion programs, which allow you to convert from one measurement to another (and with a wide range of starting and finishing units to choose between)
ConvertBot ($1.99), which uses a dial-interface to choose the starting and finishing units, then changes to a calculator-type screen for entering the measurement itself. Since that was released, another has become available that I prefer:
Convert ($1.99) which has a very straight-forward interface, and without changing screens allows both the starting/finishing units to be selected (finger-scrolling), and the value to be entered via the numeric keypad.
Often though, while you are working on your projects, changing units isn’t necessarily what you need to be doing (after all, if your plans are in imperial, you can always use an imperial ruler if you don’t want to bother converting all the measurements to metric). What you may find to be more useful is being able to add and subtract measurements, particularly in an unfamiliar format (fractional inches being the obvious one).
ShopCalc ($1.99) is a “calculator specifically designed for the handyman, woodworker or D.I.Y enthusiast.” You enter in whichever format you want, then add/subtract etc any other format, the app will display the answer in whatever format you choose.
Inside the iPhone is an accelerometer. This device detects what way you are holding the phone (orientation) and it will adjusts the display automatically. The accelerometer is surprisingly sensitive, and therefore allows many of woodworking opportunities.
One app, called iHandy Carpenter ($1.99) has five woodworking tools built-in, including a steel ruler, surface level, plumb bob, bubble level and steel protractor. This app is possibly more suited to the carpenter/tradesman than the home woodworker.