While nothing can replace a good paint brush and roller (not yet anyway), there's a whole new wave of virtual tools that can have a transformative effect on the way you work - and they all fit in the palm of your hand. If you've yet to experience these clever pieces of tech, here are the top five downloads guaranteed to help you get the job done.
What is it? Five professional tools in one beautifully designed app, iHandy includes a ruler, protractor, spirit level, plumb line and surface level. Say no more.
Best for: Accuracy on the go.
The reviews say: 'Does everything it says on the tin! Lovely little app to have around.'
2. Dulux Trade Paint Expert
What is it? The quickest and easiest way for you and your clients to visualise how a colour will look in a space, the Dulux Trade Paint Expert app uses augmented reality technology to 'colour' surfaces in real time. Pick from any Dulux Trade shade or use your clients' own colour inspiration to find a palette. You can save each scheme you create so your clients have time to mull it over, and when they've made their decision, the app also has all the essential information you'll need to finish the job - from finding your nearest stockist to tips on technique.
Best for: Colour specification at the touch of a button.
The reviews say: 'Virtual paint works pretty well on plain painted walls - fun to play with. On-screen colours look different to a paper selector, so choose a few colour codes and pick the average in the paint shop.'
Free Download it here
3. Photo Measures
What is it? This simple yet invaluable app allows you to measure and save distances on your photos so you can access them wherever you are. Capture spaces using your camera phone, then tap the photo to add your measurements. Just what you need to help you calculate how much paint you need on your next job.
Best for: Professionals and consumers alike - from interior designers to estate agents and contractors.
The reviews say: 'This app is just what I needed. I work in construction, and this gives me the perfect tool to convey exact dimensions to the detailer or project manager with clear and visual intentions.' Otis Smith
4. Sun Seeker
What is it? Sun Seeker provides a flat-view compass and an augmented reality camera 3D view showing the solar path, its hour intervals, its equinox, winter and summer solstice paths, rise and set times and more, and a map view showing solar direction for each daylight hour.
Informing colour specification for spaces that have a large amount of glass.
The reviews say: 'As a professional architectural photographer I use this often to plan shoots. Once on the location reccie I activate 3D mode for the desired shooting day and can quite accurately imagine how the light will fall on the building on a sunny day.'
What is it?
A simple and easy to use time tracker tool that'll aid you with time-billable jobs. Start and stop tracking projects with one click and Toggl will generate nicely designed visuals and reports with a breakdown of your time spent. Invaluable for making sure you're as realistic as can be when you're costing up future jobs - and for showing your clients exactly how hard you work.
Increasing your productivity and working out where exactly all that time actually goes…
The reviews say:
'Can't live without it. This is THE best productivity app.'
Free Download it here
Download the Dulux Visualizer app here