It is hard to even imagine what computer-aided design would be like without an application like AutoCAD.  It has redefined the way that an entire generation of engineers look at problems and been a big proponent for PCs in the industrial design sector.

You would have to go back eighteen years to remember the last time that AutoCAD made an appearance on a Mac platform of any sort.  At the time, one Steve Jobs had been shown the door and the company was floundering rather severely.  In response to an indefinite future for the fledgling company, Autodesk decided to close up shop on their Mac OS based development team and focus on the more lucrative PC market.

The plan seemed to pay of for them at the time, but left Mac users out in the cold, forcing them to use emulation tools in order to get the same functionality on their platform of choice.  Fortunately for all involved, that is now a thing of the past as it was recently announced by Autodesk that the AutoCAD franchise will be making a return to the once abandoned Mac universe.

But what would a return of Apple support be without iOS applications as well?  Coined AutoCAD WS, AutoDesk will be releasing an iPad, iPhone and iTouch application that will allow users to both view and edit designs on the fly.  As the sweet icing on the cake, the app will be completely free!  This is kind of a big deal when you consider that a stand alone license of the application could set a user back as much as nearly $4,500.

I just find it staggering how far technology has come in the last twenty years.  Even a decade ago it would be lunacy to consider what we can design on our computers, and now you can do the same thing on a device that you can fit in your pocket.  It will be interesting to see what limitations are placed on the WS versions of AutoCAD, but we will never be ones to look a gift horse in the mouth.

You can look forward to this giant step forward in design and engineering to hit the App Store sometime this fall.

[ via InfoWorld.com ]

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