What do we love about our readers here at Kung Fu Drafter? We love that you people are all so up to speed on the latest technological news. We have no doubt that all of our readers with either CAD or Mac inclinations are have already heard about yesterday’s AutoCAD related announcements. However, if you happen to have been under a non-Wi-Fi-connected rock, we are here to help!
After weeks of teasing the CAD community with hints of an event titled “Design 8.16” Autodesk took the Facebook to drop the announcement of the release AutoCAD 2012 for the Mac. While that may have seemed like just an expected, if not pedestrian, announcement, two other Mac-related bits of interest in fact accompanied it. In addition to AutoCAD Mac 2012 Autodesk also brought AutoCAD LT for the Mac and a stand-alone, Mac exclusive version of AutoCAD WS! That is a pretty big bag of baubles if you ask us.
Now it is known wide and far that here at Kung Fu Drafter we have little to no experience with Apple products. Like none. Zip. Zero. Possibly Less than Zero. So, with that in mind we cannot really comment on the level of awesome that these releases bring to the party. What we can do is run down a few of the facts, as we know them.
AutoCAD 2012 for the Mac
AutoCAD 2012 for the Mac will retail for $3,995 and be available for purchase this Friday, August 19. This new release comes boasting new features like multi-function grips, associative arrays and auto-complete commands. All of that has to bring a smile to the faces of you quirky little Mac heads. However, Brian Benton at Cad-a-Blog does mention a very good point that Sheet Set Manager is still missing from the mix. Well, every bag of sunflower seeds has to have its twig.
Also of note is that AutoCAD 2012 for the Mac will be available from Amazon.com where AutoCAD LT (Win) has been a long time top seller. When we asked if this was a trend we could expect to see for Windows AutoCAD releases Autodesk replied that there are no plans to move the PC version of AutoCAD out of the traditional reseller channel.
AutoCAD LT 2012
AutoCAD LT for the Mac will debut swinging at $899 and will be available exclusively from Apple’s App Store. Considering Apple’s store policy of a $1,000 price ceiling for apps, this rockets AutoCAD LT to the top of the price list. Time will tell how Apple customers used to paying $20 and $50 for apps will react to the $899 price tag. One thing is for sure, considering Apple’s policy of taking a revenue cut from apps sold through its store, Steve Jobs has to be rubbing his money-laden palms together in anticipation of LT sales!
AutoCAD WS for Mac
We think the third part of this triumvirate holds the most interest: there is a stand-alone install of AutoCAD WS for the Mac. The most obvious feature is that this is an installable application for the Mac. Whereas Mac users had previously had to access the web app and Windows users will continue to do so. Once this free application is downloaded and installed AutoCAD 2012 Mac users can use the plug-in to export a drawing to AutoCAD WS for editing. Most exciting is ability to have multiple users working from multiple WS installs and platforms (installed and mobile) simultaneously in a collaborative fashion. Now wouldn’t we all like that feature?
Autodeskers were quick to note that there are no plans for a Windows version of the stand-alone install for AutoCAD WS. You lucky Mac-heads!
As enticing as all of this is we would be remiss if we did not mention one last interesting bit of news. This one comes from the licensing frontiers. AutoCAD 2012 for Mac will now support network licensing. As if that was not a nice enough feature, these networks of Mac seats can be mixed with Windows AutoCAD seats! In fact, users of AutoCAD 2012 or any Design Suite containing AutoCAD 2012 will be able to activate seats AutoCAD 2012 for the Mac with the same serial number and product key in a seat for seat manner. Unfortunately, this arrangement is not reciprocal since Mac AutoCAD serials will not activate Windows installation. Bummer, huh?
If AutoCAD users on the Mac platform aren’t pleased after the Design 8.16 announcements then we just don’t know what will make you people happy! Maybe if you imagine running AutoCAD WS on your iPhone 5 that will make you happy. It will also make you get your checkbook because while AutoCAD WS is free that is about all that is free in the Mac world. Just saying ...
Image credits: Autodesk