We are starting to see the gradual expansion of the capabilities of mobiles devices with every passing year. One of the interesting side effects of this improvement in function and design is the expansion of niche applications and abilities.
SPViewer, available for iPhone and iPad through the Apple iTunes App Store, is a great example of this. The app basically allows you to view .mpp files from all MS Project versions, including Microsoft Project 2010 and Microsoft Project 2013, on iOS.
The app lets you view project plans in a variety of formats and ‘views’, with just about every feature you could possibly want from an app like this. Here, straight from the developer are the different ways you can track project plans using the app:
– Gantt Chart view
– Task Sheet view
– Resource Sheet view
– Task and Resource tables
– Task and Resource filters
– Timescale formatting
– Sort Task and Resources
– Zoom in/out the project plan
– Insert/Hide project columns
– Date Format Support
I must mention the design of the app, as it is nothing short of superb. The developer has clearly put a lot of work into using panes to view data, as scrolling between different fields, resizing each screen, and making notes is all completely intuitive. If the idea of viewing files on your touchscreen phone makes you shudder, then fear not, as is just works beautifully.
The app allows you to connect to OneDrive to pull data down from the cloud to view and play around with. The choice of OneDrive is an intelligent one, as anyone using Microsoft Project is almost certain to have a OneDrive account, and creating one is very easy, and free. You can also grab files from the Email app.
That brings me to the pricing for this app. The app is free to download, although you can only view some sample files included with the app, so you are going to have to going to have to purchase a subscription to use the app properly. I actually think that this is an elegant solution to the problem of providing a subscription based app, as you get to have a play with the app for free, to see if it fulfills your needs, and the price for a full subscription is very reasonable.
The app also features excellent support for the Apple Watch, with some clever use of the small screen real estate available. You can still view files, and you can get notifications through the watch, just as you can through the main app, for project costs, duration and more.
Overall, this is a stunning project viewer. With sublime file viewing, a rich set of features and even support for the Apple Watch, SPViewer is a premier app.
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