After an absence of nearly 20 years, Autodesk is bringing its flagship 3D design and visualization application AutoCAD back to the Macintosh. And that’s not all: the company also plans to offer a free lightweight AutoCAD WS applications for Apple’s iPhone and iPad that will enable users to view and edit AutoCAD files.
“The release of AutoCAD for Mac marks the return of professional design and engineering software to the Mac platform and an important convergence of power and design,” said Autodesk senior VP Amar Hapspal, in a statement. “The combination of this new version of AutoCAD and the extension of AutoCAD to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is a big step in Autodesk’s efforts to accelerate design and make design more accessible for an ever-greater number of people so they can shape the world around them.”
Although Apple’s Mac OS X has a wealth of high-end media production and content production applications, the Macintosh platform has historically lagged in drafting, engineering, and some 3D visualization arenas. The return of AutoCAD—which hasn’t been developed for the Macintosh since 1992—is a major feature in the Mac platform’s cap.
Autodesk says the Mac version of AutoCAD will integrate Mac OS X-specific technologies, like Apple’s well-known Cover Flow overview of items, as well as multitouch gestures on Mac notebooks and Apple’s new Magic Trackpad. The Mac version of AutoCAD will also support an API for customization, workflow automation, and add-ons.
Autodesk hasn’t announced pricing, but the company plans to release the software this fall in North America and Europe; reports have Autodesk charging the same for the Mac version as for PC versions, with upgrade licenses available from the PC version. The iPhone and iPad applications will be available for free worldwide.