Autodesk Proves That Free Can't Be Beat
AutoCAD WS 1.2 gives Web and mobile users a powerful and secure toolset.The saying holds that the best things in life are free. Although I'd be willing to argue that point over a bottle of Dom P??Â«rignon, there are some pretty nice things that fall into the "free" category. One of these is AutoCAD WS, a free tool from Autodesk that gives mobile and Web clients the ability to work with files created by some of the company's most popular tools, with the help of an online workspace. It manages to balance ease of use and powerful editing features without requiring compromises in efficiency or security. AutoCAD WS debuted last September, offering support for iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone, as well as the ability to edit AutoCAD DWG through a Web browser. Before then, the Web application had been a technology preview on the Autodesk Labs site, under the name of "Project Butterfly." The Web application can be accessed directly at the AutoCAD WS Website (http://www.autocadws.com), while the application for iOS devices is available from the iTunes App Store.
The 1.1 release of AutoCAD WS came out in late November, adding offline editing capabilities and direct file upload from iPad devices. Version 1.2 shipped in February, shortly after I began my evaluation. It added support for Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish, as well as adding the ability to work with DWG files created in Autodesk Inventor that depict 2D objects, improvements to the iOS app's markup capabilities and a new copy-and-paste tool.