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Re: Hp49G + iOS app development

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This is awesome. I’m glad to see interest in developing more apps for 
structural engineers. I have a visions of doing my hand calculations on a 
iPad in a free form word processor, spreadsheet, mathCAD hybrid developed 
for touch interface.

In my free time I have written a few apps and have them in the app store. 
One of them is for structural engineers. It is called “Section” and is 
a section property calculator. I agree with Chris that the most useful mobile 
 apps for me would be those that would assist me in the field. Thats why I 
wrote the section calculator.  It lists the derived formulas for various 
structural shapes and out puts your results as.  I thought it would be a 
mainly useful as a tool to have on your mobile device but I have found even 
 at my desk I’ll turn to it before I turn to the back of the steel manual 
 because it is faster. I would be happy to give a promo code to anyone that 
 wants one.


There are only 4 steps before you can write and publish iOS (iPhone and iPad) 
-Buy an Apple computer
-Download Xcode, Apples developer tools (free).
-Register with Apple as a developer ($99 / yr.)
-Learn how to code using objective-C, the computer language used by Xcode.
The first three were easy, the second is and was insanely difficult for me. 
 I bent my brain into tight pretzels trying to understand even the most 
simple aspects of objective-C.  First I tried reading books on the subject 
which helped a little but the big help came from three sources:
-iTunes U free Stanford CS 193P class (watch the lectures from Stanford’s 
 iOS development class and do the homework assignments).<> a Q&A site for programmers that 
 acts like a forum but displays responses not in chronological order but as 
 they are rated by other users.
-Google, you can google any problem you are running into and somewhere someone 
 has solved the same problem and has provided their solution. It took me a 
year of learning objective C in my spare time before I was able to develop 
even a simple app for the app store.

My other apps are much more successful then my structural engineering app, 
which saddens me as now I can see why there are so few well designed iPhone 
 apps for engineers. Most mobile apps are free or at most sell for $.99 which 
 is fine when your app is generic enough to be useful to the whole of iOS 
users.  But when you develop something so specialized as to only be useful 
to structural engineers you can’t sell it for $.99 and expect to make a 

I’m not complaining as this is more of a hobby and an experiment, but I 
am a little worried that there just isn’t a market for some team to develop 
 my dream iPad hand calculation app.  I also now appreciate the prices charged 
 for AutoCAD, RISA etc.

Nick Fanger

On Mar 18, 2015, at 5:10 AM, Polhemus, William <wpolhemus(--nospam--at)> 

I really should get into this myself. I've got iOS devices. I've got a
late-model iMac with X Code on it.

I'm all set.

What sorts of apps do we NEED?

I'm thinking concrete beam and column design.

William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.

6 6

On Mar 17, 2015, at 11:32 PM, Chris Miller <w.christopher.miller(--nospam--at)>
I have thought about creating structural engineering apps for iOS in the
past.  I'm guessing the most useful apps would be those used to perform
on the fly calculations easily during site visits or meetings.  I'm open
to any suggestions!


Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 15:27:32 +0000
From: "Polhemus, William" <wpolhemus(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Re: Hp49G

HP49G!!!! I love it!!!

Alex, have you thought about porting this to iOS and/or Android?

I'm really surprised we don't have more engineering "apps" like this. I
did purchase Patrick Tsim's "SteelTable" for iOS. I've only used it
occasionally but wanted to show my support for structural engineering

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