Top engineering apps for students
Are you an engineering student with an iPhone or iPod Touch? As Apple would say, there’s an app for that. Have a look at some of the top apps that’ll appeal to all engineers in training.
Element14 Everywhere (free)
Giving you access to a network of electronic design engineers around the world, Element14 Everywhere is a community tool. Use it to find discussions about upcoming technologies, share your expertise or ask a question to a problem that’s boggling you. An interesting new way to network and to find advice on tough university projects.
Mechanical Engineer (£2.99)
Great for engineering students, Mechanical Engineer has over 100 formulas relevant to, well, mechanical engineers. Twenty new formulas are added each month in free upgrades, and there are also close to 100 conversion formulas included. All formulas can also be saved and even emailed. The main topics covered are bearings, belts, breaks, clutches, elevators, gears, kinetic energy, metalworking, shafts and springs.
Electrical Formulator (£2.39)
From the same developer as Mechanical Engineer, Electrical Formulator is another formula database app to solve electrical design problems. The app includes conversion of kilowatts to British thermal units (BTUs), horsepower, joules and lumens, and also includes formulas to calculate total resistance, capacitance, voltage drops, and transformer calculations. Again, all formulas can be saved and emailed.
Ohms Law Calculator (£0.59)
Just like Ronseal – it does what it says on the tin. This app, perfect for the budget conscious, allows you to calculate values for ohms, amps, watts and volts. Enter any two known values and it will find the other two values for you.
Wolfram Alpha (£29.99)
At the other end of the scale Wolfram Alpha is a rather pricey app, but spend the money and you’re rewarded with an encyclopaedia of knowledge at your fingertips.
This reference app has years of knowledge behind it and includes over 50,000 built-in algorithms and millions of pieces of data, complete with images and tables where relevant, and continuously updated. Its developers believe it’s so good you can throw your physical reference books in the bin, but we’d still advise you not to. You can’t put your cup of tea down on an iPhone.
Wikipedia Mobile (free!)
Now that is good value for a reference app. Although you can’t take always Wikipedia’s word as gospel (mind you, are the online guerillas really going to go for, I don't know, the control valve section?) this is a great app to query something on the fly. Focused for quick mobile use rather that searching via the Safari web function, the code is open source, community built, so you can become part of the Wiki-phenomenon by having a go at playing around with its programming.
The Engineer’s Dictionary (£2.99)
The Engineer’s Dictionary allows you easy access to thousands of engineering terms and phrases. Even better for international students, it translate the words into six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
An engineering and computer science calculator, CompCalc consists of a hex calculator, ‘tape-roll’ adding machine, scientific calculator, engineering calculator, and trigonometric calculator, among others. Its tape-roll-style display allows you to go back and look at anything from your current session, making it a pretty useful engineering app.
Graphing Calculator (£0.59)
There’s a wide selection of calculator types out there on the Apple Store; however, the Graphing Calculator stands out as a useful addition to your iPhone/iPod Touch.
It turns your hardware into an intuitive high-resolution function plotter and scientific calculator. Features include the ability to plot and trace multiple equations on the same graph, take screenshots and email graphs to yourself, evaluate your graphs at any x value using the calculator screen and find the exact (x,y) coordinates for roots and intersections using the trace mode.
Great for engineering and computer science students, iLogica provides a variety of the main logic tables, and then a simulator to create your own. Currently only available in Spanish, its developer, Favime, is working on an English version which should be available by the end of this month.
So, there’s our rundown of the top apps out there for engineering students: what do you think? Do you use these, or have you found better? Join the debate below.