Autodesk’s popular drawing-sharing and mark-up mobile app, AutoCAD WS  was released to the Android market on April 20th and has been downloaded more than 500,000 times since its release.
The launch was something that the AutoCAD WS team had been preparing since releasing it as a mobile app for the iPhone OS (making it available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) in September 2010.
“We knew that iOS was not the only mobile platform on which we wanted to deploy,” said Tal Weiss, senior development manager for AutoCAD WS who was CEO of the Israel-based Startup Plan Platform when it was acquired by Autodesk in December 2009. “Android was already picking up steam by then so the iOS app design was made intentionally easy to move to another platform for this launch.”
The AutoCAD WS web and free mobile app lets you view, edit, and share DWG drawings through a web browser or mobile device, store AutoCAD drawings and project files in an easy-to-access online workspace, and share and collaborate on devices such as an iPad or an Android-enabled phone. More than one million users have downloaded it for the iOS to date.
“We’re building around this vision of extending AutoCAD to the mobile world,” Weiss said. “We have to look at where our users are. Like all companies we only have a fixed amount of development dollars. iOS was number one and Android was definitely number two, as for plans for Blackberry we don’t have any plans for that (an app just for Blackberry OS) right now, but from their new Playbook it looks like they’re going to be supporting Android apps on it. ”
Weiss said the difficulty in the Android launch came more from the wide range of devices the google-developed mobile platform is used by.
There are only three devices that use the iOS compared to hundreds that use Android.
“We were getting messages, even before it was released, saying ‘will it work with this phone,’ and there were a few phones produced in China that we’d never even heard about before,” said Weiss, he encouraged Android users to post their feedback at the AutoCAD WS blog . “Thanks to all that feedback we can say with certainty now that it does work seamlessly on 99.9% of Android devices.”
The AutoCAD WS app on my HTC Evo, an Android device.
This is a mechanical drawing circled for detail with the app.