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Machine Design

Engineering apps for the iPhone

App is a database of screw and tap information

iEngineer targets engineers, machinists, hobbyists, and anyone who works with screws. For example, tap the "U.S. Screws" tab at the bottom of the window and up pops a chart with four rotatable “columns” that users finger-swipe to see if a certain diameter, thread pitch, head shape, and screw grade is available. Those not available have the head type grayed-out. Other tabs on the bottom of the window include those for metric screws, a drill chart giving metric and decimal sizes, and even a fraction-conversion chart. A handy section gives definitions of terms such as "allowable shear force" and "clamp force."

App gives flight gate number, and more

One of the handiest apps for engineers (or anyone for that matters) who travels on business a lot is FlightBoard. Have you gotten past security only to find you don’t know the gate you are to leave from? First, tap "Airports," and select the airport you are in. You can search flights by destination, flight number, or departure time and the app lists the gate you are to leave from. It often has this information before the data is posted on the airport display boards! The app lets users just proceed to the correct gate and not have to wait around in the main shopping areas of the terminal.

Scan documents "on-the-go"

TurboScan turns your iPhone into a "pocket" scanner. Use the "Camera" button for single-shot scans of your document. To scan more pages, tap the <<+>> icon. To get three shots at one time, press the “SureScan 3×” button. Take three images with the camera. The app then processes the documents. To open an image from the iPhone’s library, tap "Album." The preview screen lets you adjust brightness, rotation, and color mode. Tap the saved document and swipe the screen just like any iPhone app to make the text bigger.

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