Woodworking has traditionally been something we have done with hand tools, then in the last few decades we have moved to using more power tools, now with electronics, it makes me wonder what woodworking will evolve to in the future. To help me prepare for that I have invested in a small Samsung Tablet, which is similar to an Apple iPad. And for those of you who are still wondering about Tablets and iPads they are basically similar to a smartphone or iPhone ... without the phoning capability, but with all the other features.
If you are thinking of one of these units for yourself, you basically have 2 choices. You can purchase any one of several units that use what is called the Android operating system that was developed by Google. Tablets liks Samsung, Nexus, Asus, Acer, etc. will use this operating system. Another choice would be the Apple iPad which uses an Apple operating system. The real difference between these units is that Apps that run on the Android units are NOT comparable with the iPad, and of course iPad Apps won't run on Android units. In a very few cases, people have developed an App for both units, but very often it will either be available on one or the other ... for now, but as these apps get more popular, many will be available for both.

On these smart electronic devices, iPhones and Tablets we can install something called Apps, an acronym that is short for the word application which is simply a small program that allows ...

us to perform certain functions on the unit. Some Apps are like simple calculators and when you type in the information on the dimensions of a board for example, it will tell you how many board feet there are in that board. Another application available so far only on iPhones is called Wood ID. This program has dozens of pictures of wood and a brief description of each so it can help the woodworker identify and select woods that they might want to work with.

Of course the real question with all of these apps, is what can we find that will really be useful to us in the woodwork shop? For me, it is an entry into the age of electronics for the workshop and a way for me to see how this trend develops. I am an older computer user and not as familiar with Tablets, iPhones, smartphones and iPads as many of the younger generation of woodworkers, so I am going to reaching out to the younger generation for their input, ideas and suggestions of apps and other uses for electronics in the workshop. I can help them with some of the fundamentals of working with wood, techniques and so on, and in return, I need their help in teaching me about the new age of electronics as it continues to emerge.

I have no doubt that this article will become one of the most popular articles for responses and commentary, so perhaps we should look at opening up and entire thread in the Forums of woodworkweb, solely for the discussion of apps and uses for the workshop. For right now ... we will rely on this.

So ... a plea to the younger generation of woodworkers, please let us know your thoughts and opinions of apps for the workshop, what is out there that is good, what is needed and what is coming.

Copyright - Colin Knecht