According to Neilson 1 out of every 2 Americans will own a smart phone by Christmas 2011. That’s 150 million people. The smart phone offers nearly endless uses and Application developers have created a tool or app for just about everything. The construction industry has not been neglected.

The cell phone is a staple for any builder, but some builders and contractors are slow to adapt to smart phones. The need for a smart phone can only be ignored for just so long. Some of the applications available to the modern builder will be, or already are, as valuable as a tape measure or hammer. We’ve tested a few of these tools our self while other have been recommended by customers and builders. Here are just samplings of a few that demonstrate the power of the smart phone for the modern builder.

  • iHandy Carpenter is a beautiful and simple to use application. But there is power in it’s ease of use. The application offers 5 tools in one ($1.99): a plumb bob, surface level, bubble level bar, steel ruler and a steel protractor. There is also a free version of the standalone Bubble level. The levels require a simple calibration setup prior to usage and one should be mindful that this is not a deadly accurate tool, but it will do great for spot checks. I installed the free app on my Android phone and used it to level and hang curtain rods, picture frames, etc and was very impressed with the tool.¬† Available for iPhone and Android.
  • I.D. Wood is a pocket guide to exotic woods. This handy little¬† app has full screen samples and information for almost 160 different woods from around the world. It turns your smartphone into a virtual guidebook. So if you are meeting with a client and discussing chooses of hardwoods you can show them a sample, reference it’s hardness, typical uses, origin, durability and sustainability. A valuable tool for woodworkers, cabinet makers, architects, designers and carpenters. Available for iPhone and Android $4.99
  • Carpenter’s Helper Pro is a custom calculator for carpenters. The calculator offers functions for stair framing, roof coverage, and lumber takeoffs. Works just as well as a standard construction calculator and you can condense two electronic devices into one. A free basic version is also available. Available for iPhone $14.99

Do you have a favorite construction app? Please share it with us here or join the conversation on Facebook.