Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

SketchUp for iPad is now out of beta

Originally posted on 21 September 2021. Scroll down for news of the stable release.

Trimble has released SketchUp for iPad, the mobile edition of its architectural modelling software, in beta.

The new edition will enable users to design on an iPad using gesture controls or the Apple Pencil stylus, and will feature “innovative capabilities [like] Autoshape [and] Markup Mode”.

A full version of SketchUp for iPad, to complement the existing SketchUp Viewer
Although Trimble has had an app for viewing SketchUp models on iOS devices for some years now, it wasn’t previously possible to actually design in SketchUp on an iPad.

The new edition rectifies that, reimagining SketchUp workflow for use on a smaller screen, and for use with Apple Pencil and multi-touch input as well as a mouse and keyboard.

According to Trimble, SketchUp for iPad also adds a “variety of innovative capabilities”, including “Autoshape, Markup Mode, AR model viewing and dozens of user interface and workflow enhancements”.

The new iPad edition integrates with Trimble Connect, the firm’s online collaboration platform, and will enable users to “move seamlessly” between the mobile, web and desktop editions of SketchUp.

Other than that, there’s currently little information on Trimble’s website, although this thread on the SketchUp forum suggests that the iPad edition may not include all of the features from the desktop version.

In it, Trimble product manager Jody Gates comments that the iPad app, “while very similar to the client, is not the same thing”, while this post from a beta tester suggests that it doesn’t support extensions.

Updated 21 April 2022: Trimble has officially released SketchUp for iPad.

The firm’s blog post announcing the release includes demo videos of the iPad-only features, with a particular highlight being Autoshape.

The machine-learning-trained tool “[turns] doodles into 3D shapes”, with users able to scribble a simplified representation of an object and have SketchUp automatically generate it and orient it to the nearest surface.

The video above shows a user adding an open window to a wall in a SketchUp project by sketching the outline of the frame, then adding diagonal strokes to the centre to indicate that the window is ajar.

Other iPad-specific features include Markup mode, which enables users to annotate a SketchUp model; and the option to add photographic textures to a model or view it in augmented reality using the iPad camera.

As well as Trimble Connect, users can export models in USDZ format, making it possible to edit them into a growing range of desktop DCC applications, or other iPad apps like Procreate.

Pricing and system requirements
SketchUp for iPad is compatible with iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad Mini devices running iOS 15+.

The iPad edition is included with all paid SketchUp subscriptions: the $699/year SketchUp Studio, $299/year SketchUp Pro, and $119/year SketchUp Go, previously known as SketchUp Shop.

Read Trimble’s announcement of SketchUp for iPad