Cool Tools for Automation Pros

On planes and trains, and in the field, automation professionals are leaving their heavy, unwieldy laptops behind and using powerful mobile apps on lightweight phones and tablets to access essential information whenever and wherever it is needed.

As the go-to resource for automation professionals, we are continually adding information and tools to our collection that will contribute to your success. Many of the apps in this list have been recommended by our members, experts in various automation industries. The list contains general apps, such as engineering calculators and apps for reviewing AutoCAD drawings, as well as apps for specialized tasks, such as heat transfer calculation or decoding a Rockwell programmable logic controller (PLC) status light meaning.

Do you have an app to recommend? We would love to add it to the list. Do you have an idea for an app that would be useful for automation professionals, but it just doesn’t exist? Let us know. We just may be able to make that dream a reality.

We look forward to hearing from you! Send your comments and suggestions to us at

Disclaimer: ISA does not endorse the companies listed or the products/services they offer. Nor does ISA control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained on these app products. 

TouchCalc TouchCalc

Good for number crunching and analysis, this colorful calculator offers three different modes. The scientific mode allows standard functions and operations like the basic arithmetical operations, power, logarithm, and roots. The bit/integer mode offers logical operations on bit level. The statistics mode helps you create a sample by adding several values and then calculating mean, median, quantile values, variance, standard deviation, and range, among others. 
  FREE   Apple
Graphing-Calculator Graphing Calculator

Useful for engineers and scientists, the Graphing Calculator turns the iPad into a high-resolution function plotter and scientific calculator. Some of its features include quickly plotting and tracing multiple equations on the same graph; custom keyboard to speed up entering equations; pinch to zoom and drag or slide for scrolling the graph in real time, taking screen shots; and emailing graphs to yourself. 
  1.99   Apple
Fluid-Mechanics-Converter Fluid Mechanics Converter

This conversion calculator can translate different units of measure related to fluid mechanics. The app includes a fluid converter, flow rate (mass) converter, flow rate (volume) converter, viscosity (dynamic) converter, viscosity (oil and water) converter, and a viscosity (kinematic) converter. 
  FREE   Android
engineering unit converter Engineering Unit Converter

This is a comprehensive engineering unit converter with an intuitive spinning wheel interface. There is no add, no hidden code, no need for a network connection, and the total size is about half a megabyte. 
  0.99   Android
EngCalc---Engineering-Calc EngCalc

EngCalc includes formulas and property tables for mechanical, hydraulic, structural, machine design, electrical, fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics, HVAC, pipe flow, and automotive engineering. It also includes a unit convertor with units and conversions. 
  9.99   Android
ConvertPad---Unit-Converter ConvertPad

This app is a unit converter, currency converter, and calculator
  FREE   Android
CalculatorProForiPad Calculator Pro

Use this well-designed app for basic calculations or in scientific mode. It has a simple interface that is easy to use. 
  FREE   Apple
Pocket Slide Rule Pocket Slide Rule

For those who miss the days when a slide rule could be found on every desk in the lab, here’s a free, virtual slide rule.
  FREE   Apple
Power One Finance Pro Calculator powerOne Finance Pro Calculator

Remember Hewlett-Packard's RPN calculators? They're not dead, just reborn in iPad form via this engineering-calculator app from Infinity Softworks. It also includes templates and a standard algebraic mode. 
  4.99   Apple
EngineeringCalc_Apple_FREE Engineering Calc

This application is intended for engineers and students who are looking for a reference tool for electrical and RF engineering. Easily determine the resistor and capacitor values based on their color codes, or vice versa. Calculate electrical values based on Ohm's Law. RF engineers can also simulate a Smith Chart diagram.
  FREE   Apple
GasEncylopedia_Android-Apple_FREE Gas Encyclopedia

This is a great tool to use to quickly access a host of information on the physical and chemical properties of 64 gas molecules, as well as their material compatibilities. It is very useful, with different functionalities like a molecular comparison tool for lab work, search filters, an equivalence converter, and a 3D molecule viewer. 
  FREE   Apple and Android
FingerCAD FingerCAD

FingerCAD is a computer-aided design (CAD) application for technical drawing. With FingerCAD, engineers can draw anything they can draw with a common PC CAD, such as houses, bridges, mechanical components, and geometrical figures. 
  5.99   Apple
eDrawings_Apple_1-99 eDrawings Viewer

Teamed with your Apple device’s camera, the app uses augmented reality to enable you to view 3D models you create in 1:1 scale with the real world. 
  $1.99   Apple
Auto Cad logo AutoCAD 360

Autodesk’s app lets engineers view, edit, and share DWG drawings through an iPad. Engineers can accurately annotate and revise drawings while they are on location in the field, in meetings, or out of the office. They can also work with local versions of designs when they do not have an Internet connection, and easily open DWG, DWF, and DXF files received as email attachments. 
  FREE   Apple and Android
TurboViewer X TurboViewer X
TurboViewer X is a DWG viewer that supports both 2-D and 3-D CAD DWG files. The app allows multitouch navigation as you pan, zoom, and 3-D orbit around your DWG and DXF files. To view drawing files, you can send an email with the DWG or DXF attachments directly to your iPad. Drawing files can also be viewed through FTP, Dropbox, iCloud, and other cloud-based storage systems. 

  Apple 9.99

Android 6.99
 e-ENGineer_Apple_0-99 e-ENGineer

This app is primarily designed with the electrical engineer in mind. Out in the field or sitting at your desk, you will have instant access to these and other common formulas: volt drop, star delta and delta star transformations, Ohm's Law, and calculations to resolve V, A, VA, kW, VAr and power factor.
  .99   Apple
CAD View logo CAD View 3D MFC

This is a 3-D data file viewer for CAD users. It supports the most popular 3-D CAD formats including STL, DXF, and JT. With this app, users can take their 3-D files with them and view them with their phone (or tablet) directly. The app provides 3-D features including a rotating model with finger movement, changing object material color or rendering background color, and changing rendering light intensity. 
  4.99 Apple
E-Formulas_Apple_6-99 E-Formulas

E-Formulas includes more than 70 formula variations including: voltage drop, Ohm’s Law, and calculating resistance and capacitance in serial and parallel.
  6.99   Apple
CompCalc_Apple_2-99 CompCalc

This app was designed by an engineer for engineers. The functions on CompCalc incorporate common notations and verbiage used in engineering, rather the standard terms used on most computers or calculators. This application has hex, scientific, engineering, and trigonometric calculators and a unique “tape roll” display that enables the user to view the entire formulaic session until they hit clear.
  2.99   Apple
Transmission Line Calculator Transmission Line Calc

This app enables you to perform several calculations related to RF transmission lines.
  2.99   Apple
GaugeFinder_Apple_FREE GaugeFinder
This utility offers access to a database of standard thickness and diameter values for wire, steel, and tubing. 
  FREE   Apple
CircuitLab_Apple_5-99 Circuit Lab

This app is a schematic capture and analysis tool based on the modified node analysis method. 
  5.99   Apple
EEToolKit_Apple_4-99 E.E.Tool Kit

This easy-to-use tool kit contains circuit solvers, references and tutorials, and example schematics. 
  4.99   Apple
iCircuit_Apple_9-99 iCircuit

Design and simulate live circuits or troubleshoot a remote location from the convenience and safety of a hand-held mobile device.  iCircuit offers more than 30 elements for building circuits in a virtual environment including a multimeter to probe circuits for instant voltage and current readings, and a built-in oscilloscope to test circuits with varying signal voltages. iCircuit provides real-time analysis for simple and complex applications, on both analog and digital circuits. 
  4.99 through Google
9.99 through iTunes
  Apple and Android
LuxCalc-Fluid-Prop-I LuxCalc Fluid Prop I

This is a mechanical engineering app that allows engineers involved in thermal analysis to quickly and accurately (within 5 percent) calculate the thermophysical properties of common fluids found in heat transfer books, such as specific heat, absolute viscosity, kinematic viscosity, and thermal expansion, for a user-specified temperature. 
  0.99   Apple
Engineering-Pro Engineering Professional

This app is a good reference tool for any engineering student, as it combines more than 650 formulas in chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, hydrology, and mechanical engineering. It enables engineers to determine everything from calculations on shafts to loads on beams. In addition, there are 100 conversion formulas, as well as a section for determining area formulas. 
  11.99   Apple
Engineering-Cookbook Engineering Cookbook
This is a reference guide for mechanical designers. It provides frequently needed information, including heating and cooling load estimating, sound and vibration guidelines, ventilation rates for indoor air quality, and design formulas and conversion factors. 
  FREE   Apple and Android
Mechanical-Egnineering-by-MultiEducator Mechanical Engineer

Part of MultiEducator’s iPhone Formulator line, this app contains more than 300 mechanical engineering formulas. There are over 300 additional conversion formulas in the program, as well as 70 area formulas. Major areas covered in the program include bearings, belts, boilers, brakes, clutches, elevators, gears, fluid power, heat transfer, internal combustion, kinetic energy, metalworking, plates, plumbs, power plants, refrigeration, shafts springs, and vehicle drive. 
  5.99   Apple 
HVA-Professional HVAC Professional

HVAC Professional Formulator includes all 200 formulas of the HVAC Fomulator and adds 18 charts, as well as the complete International Mechanical Code. It has a variety of sections including air change, airside, boilers, BTU conversions, ductwork, energy values, heating design, heating requirements, humidity, loads, pumps, steam, temperature, waterside systems, and area calculations. 
  7.99   Apple
Smart Tools HD Smart tools HD

Flashlight, compass, level, vibration measurement tool, angle tools, and more in one app. The app isn’t as good as the real tools or some apps that provide the individual tools, but a single app takes up less space on your Apple device view and beats carrying all the real tools around.
  2.99   Apple
iEngineer_Apple_FREE iEngineer

iEngineer boasts a comprehensive database of  bolt information and data on over 300 U.S. and metric screws in a single, mobile source. The app provides details such as dimensions and tap sizes, visual aids for easy identification, information pertaining to strength and load, drill charts, fraction charts, assistance with conversions, and a feature that converts the flash on your phone or tablet into an emergency work light. 
  FREE   Apple
Compressible Fluid Flow Calculator Compressible Flow Calculator

Here's another in the plethora of number-crunching apps available on iTunes. It's intended to handle isentropic flows, heat addition, and ducts flows. The constraint is that gas properties are assumed to be constant. It's offered by the unfortunately named BS Software, which no doubt drew its name from that of the developer, Benjamin Shaw.
  FREE   Apple
TeslaBot Tesla Bot

Described as a “Geiger counter for magnetic fields," the app plays synthesized Geiger counter-style clicks relative to the strength of a magnetic field, as measured by the built-in compass/magnetometer of your device.
  FREE   Apple
Engineering-Unit-Conversion Engineering Unit Conversion

This unit conversion tool is specifically designed for engineers, scientists, and students. It offers dimensions engineers need on a daily basis with all the units they commonly use. They can also input negative values when required for temperature and gauge pressures. 
  1.99   1.99 through Apple
1.99 through Android
engineering tool box Engineering Toolbox

The Engineering Toolbox site has a variety of apps, including Air Duct Flow, Air Duct Velocity, Electric Motors, Flow Converter, Fuel Consumption Converter, Hydraulic Diameter, Hydraulic Force, Kinematic Viscosity, Length Converter, and Natural Gas Pipe. 
  FREE   Application, no download
Inventor-Publisher-Mobile-Viewer Inventor Publisher Mobile Viewer

With Autodesk Inventor Publisher Mobile Viewer, important product information and instructions can be at your fingertips wherever you go. Users of the desktop version of Inventor Publisher software can easily publish and share interactive 3-D instructions with others who have installed Inventor Publisher Mobile Viewer app via cloud storage or locally via a company website, email, or intranet. 
  FREE   Apple and Android
DeltaV-CHARMs-LED-Diagnostics DeltaV CHARMs LED Diagnostics

This app helps diagnose the LED light sequence of CIOC CHARMs. 
  FREE   Apple
MathFormulaeLite_Android_FREE Math Formulae Lite

This app is a great collection of hundreds of mathematics formulae specially designed for engineering students. It lists out all the important formulas/topics in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus.
  FREE   Android
PLC Meter PLC Meter

PLC Meter enables you to automatically calibrate analog / digital values inside PLC and SCADA systems. Update scales (Minimum => Maximum) or any values and the app will scale the other values in proportion. The app allows any value for minimum / maximum, even negatives and decimals. Use the slider to simulate ranges of values. Rotate your phone from vertical to horizontal to increase the screen width and enhance the slider precision. 
  FREE   Android
Real Calculator Plus RealCalc Plus

RealCalc Plus is a full-featured scientific calculator that performs the same level of permutations, combinations, and hyperbolic functions.
  3.49   Android
Orifice Apple Orifice

While the app name may cause a giggle, it’s a very serious application for any engineer who works with pipes. Technically defined, Orifice is a “square edge orifice sizing” application, meaning it will help the user select the correct size orifice plate to control the liquid flow rate. Just enter the information needed to determine flow rate or pipe size and Orifice does all the work for you.
  3.99   Apple
MathTricks_Android_FREE Math Tricks

Use this Android app to learn new mathematics tricks that will help you solve complex calculations in just seconds. 
  FREE   Android
Rockwell Automation Small System Sketcher Rockwell Automation Small System Sketcher

Keyed to Rockwell's Kinetix product line, this app lets users configure a small automation system, including picking a controller, assigning a network, adding HMI and IO, and configuring drives. When complete, it will email you the system drawing and Bill of Material.
  FREE   Apple
Dilbert Mobile Dilbert Mobile

Get the day’s Dilbert strip, plus a 20-year archive of Scott Adam’s comic. It’s a great app to have handy when your own pointy haired boss does something idiotic and you need a quick chuckle.
  FREE   Apple
Shot Task shotTask

When you see an issue that needs to be addressed, use shotTask to take photos, describe the problem, and generate job card emails to report the issue.
  2.99   Apple
FreeGraphingCalculator Free Graphing Calculator

This free app is hard to beat for power and flexibility. It outperforms most for-pay apps, supplying a highly functional scientific calculator, detailed graphing capabilities, a unit converter, and more. This app not only features intuitive controls for more efficient calculations, but it also has a reference section for recalling formulas, help and support screens, and a function to keep track of significant figures.
  FREE   Apple Access through iTunes
Commissioning-Assistant Commissioning-Assistant

The commissioning assistant (aka Inbetriebnahme-Helfer) is an easy-to-use tool for commissioning and maintenance personnel from the field of measurement and control technology.
  FREE   Android
PID LoopSim PID LoopSim

PID LoopSim is the free limited version of PID LoopSim Pro.

PID LoopSim is an Android-based simulator for PID practice. It may be used to improve tuning skills by adjusting the PID terms in real time and seeing the reaction of the system. Enter your process characteristics and try out the tuning parameters before applying them in your plant. The simulator shows, in real time, how your process will respond to your tuning parameters based on set point changes..
  FREE   Android
FactoryFix logo Image FactoryFix

FactoryFix allows automation professionals to connect with local manufacturers that need their expertise. Once you join the FactoryFix network and create a profile, you will be sent a text message every time a manufacturer in your area is in need of your skills. If you are interested in the opportunity, simply place an hourly rate bid and get hired by the customer immediately through the app. The platform is a great way to find opportunities to earn extra income with side-projects, part-time gigs, or even full-time opportunities.

The app is available for both Apple and Android..
  FREE   Android
MS Word Word for iPad

View, create and edit Word documents on your iPad. 
  FREE   Apple
MS-Excel_Itunes_FREE Excel
Use the real Microsoft Excel app on your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. 
  FREE   Apple
MS PowerPoint PowerPoint
Use the real Microsoft PowerPoint app on your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. 
  FREE   Apple
MS One Note OneNote

Write down your thoughts anytime, anywhere with this digital notebook for your iPad or iPhone. Then, access your notes on all your devices.
  FREE   Apple
MS-Linc_Itunes_FREE Lync 2013 for iPad

Access the power of Lync and Skype for Business on your iPad. Includes voice and video over wireless, rich presence, instant messaging, conferencing, and calling features from a single, easy-to-use interface.
  FREE   Apple