Designing rooms or entire buildings is what you expect to do on a computer, but sometimes you have to do things on the go. Better yet, you need to focus on the plan and make changes, where you will be doing the actual physical labor. It’s here that MagicPlan Between.
This service is designed to run on an iOS or Android phone or tablet. The app itself is free, and you can try the service for nothing, but if you’re going to use it regularly, you’ll need to subscribe (we’ll talk about that later).
After installing the app, you then need to create an account and you are good to go.
Creating a new project is easy: just tap the big blue ‘+’. You have the option to name your project and even add the address of where the work will be undertaken, but this is all optional. Tap the other blue checkmark to start designing.
This is where you will see one of the cool features of MagicPlan: “Scan with Camera”. If you are in the room you will be working on, you can use AR (Augmented Reality) to let the app scan and measure the room for you. It worked well, although we think it would work much better in an unfurnished room.
Work on the plan
Whichever option you choose (assisted or manual AR), you start by describing the location of the room: what floor is it on and what type of space is it. There are a plethora of options to choose from, whether it’s a commercial or residential location (private office, cafeteria, lobby, office, living room, cellar, but to name a few).
You are then propelled into design mode. The creation process is quite straightforward. If you selected a square room, you are presented with four walls. Tap on one of them to select it, then drag it into our output to resize the room. Tap a corner to change that space from that point instead. You can also divide a wall to create irregularly shaped areas. In doing so, your MagicPlan will display all of the measurements you need to make sure your design stays accurate (by default our app has displayed measurements in feet and inches – if you need to change this it can be done from the “Settings” tab of your account).
Adding windows, doors or any type of furniture is done by pressing the “Add an object” button. It’s all broken down by category, but if you know what you’re looking for, type it into the search box and all available options will be revealed.
If you can’t find what you are looking for, press ‘more’ to show ‘hidden’ items – essentially less commonly used items that are nonetheless still an integral part of the app, such as school specific furniture, systems. security, and even medical equipment.
Personalization of articles
Anything you add to your plan can be further personalized: double-tap it to reveal its dimensions which are fully editable. It’s also the place to leave notes or include photos of real-world objects you might have in mind.
We really liked the function (also present when modifying walls) of the arrow used to manipulate and rotate an object that turns green when at a right angle. This makes it very easy to modify your environment while remaining precise.
Your project is not limited to a single room: thanks to this method, you can add additional spaces and end up creating an entire residence. There are useful options here to save time, like the ability to quickly merge parts together or split them again if you change your mind (there are also handy undo options that you can tap at any time. – there is no redo though).
What good is design software if you don’t know how to play in 3D, and here again, MagicPlan does not disappoint. When activated, you can zoom in, rotate, pan or zoom out (the walls becoming opaque or transparent depending on your viewing angle), everything is very immersive. You can also share any angle by framing your shot the way you want and hitting the Share button (top right) – or just taking a screenshot.
Most things are nothing you can’t already do in other systems, whether it’s desktop software or online services. Portability is a big factor, don’t get me wrong, and the AR option (when it works) can save you time, but perhaps the most interesting aspect of this app is its estimation feature.
After you have built your plan, you then press the “Start quote for this project!” Button. »Menu. This is where monetary value is assigned to the proposed workforce. Scroll through your options such as Paint, Flooring and Electricity, and choose from the different suggestions (painting doors, painting ceilings, installing a sink, tiling, applying grout, etc.).
Each has a base value leading to a full estimate of the cost of labor for the work required. This could be a very useful way to quickly get an idea of how much to charge a customer, for example, or maybe how much to expect a builder to charge you!
Packages and prices
By using this application fully and regularly, you have three monthly subscriptions. The first is Sketch at $ 9.99 (£ 9.99) per month. With it, you can work on an unlimited number of projects, measure and sketch a part, export 2D and 3D designs, and collaborate with others.
Report (£ 29.99 (£ 29.99) per month) includes the ability to work with photos and 360 images. You can also include notes and annotations – ideal when working in a team – and have access to custom forms and objects.
Estimate ($ 89.99 (£ 89.99) per month) allows you to produce personalized price lists, cost estimates and gives you access to phone support.
Any plan can also be paid for annually, and you get two months free if you choose to do so. Better yet, if you want to try the service, the MagicPlan app lets you work on two projects for free. As long as you delete them after you are done, you will be able to test the service almost forever.
MagicPlan is an original design program. It’s a mobile app (although you can access some features through a web browser as well), with easy-to-use features, a cool AR option, and a cool way to generate estimates for the job at hand. Monthly subscriptions could pay off if you design your business, and it also offers you two free projects that casual users can explore as well. Definitely worth a look.
Need help on your next creative project around your home? Discover our roundups of best home interior design software and the best architecture software