Electronic Toolbox Pro – Review – A valuable tool for anyone handy with a soldering iron
App Type: Uncategorized
By: Marcus Roskosch
Version #: 4.01.01
Date Released: 2012-08-11
Developer: Marcus Roskosch
Price: 5.99User Rating:
Last year I did a review of an app that offered a wide range of electronic reference tools for engineers and hobbyists. At the time I pointed out that this was quite a niche app and that as such I didn’t expect to see much competition for it in the app store. Low and behold, we are not reviewing another electronics app called Electronic Toolbox Pro by Marcus Roskosch. While I found the former app to be a useful tool, I did see room for improvement. Does this app have what it takes to become the dominate species in the world of electronic reference apps?
Electronic Toolbox Pro has been around since 2009, but it has seen quite a bit of growth over the years. The developer boasts that most of the improvements made to it were at the suggestion of the users. It shows as there is an overwhelming number of tools that range from database tools, to calculators, as well as tables of data all focused on the world of electronics. The usual suspects are all here including resistor calculators, or pinouts for common ICs. The interface is a typical grid of buttons, but you can also view them as list. The icons can be rearranged to your liking, and the background colors represent the different kind of tools available.
Up until now this app doesn’t sounds much different from its competitor. The tools are similar enough and as with the other app, I found some of them to be congested and difficult to parse. I did notice quite a bit more reference material in Electronic Toolbox Pro as well as tips and background information which is great for people like me that are just getting their feet wet with electronics. What two things really sets Electronic Toolbox Pro aside are first; search is available on every page, and for some longer lists this is a godsend.
Second, and this feature is most likely the best part of this app, is the projects tab at the button. From here you can start a project that you are working on. As you make calculations or browse ICs, you can add them to your project which saves the values for later reference. This really make this pile of mini-tools really work together as a single entity. The lists can be emailed or printed as well as exported to iTunes. It would be nice to see formats for the projects can could be compatible to apps like Things or other project management apps. You would then be able to integrate your standard project apps with the tools you use here.
It’s great to see support for less popular areas of the app space. Electronic hobbyists, and engineers can use these tools to increase their productivity and stop lugging around large reference books. While this app isn’t perfect, I this is a great improvement over the competition, and should be a valuable tool for anyone handy with a soldering iron.
Would I Buy Again:Yes.
Learning Curve:Very technical.
Who Is It For:Electronic engineers and hobbyists.
What I Like:Using the projects to make lists of necessary components.
What I Don't Like:Busy calculator interfaces, no way to easily integrate into project managers apps.
Final Statement:Whether diodes and ICs, Electronic Toolbox Pro is a toolbox in your pocket.
PLEASE NOTE: This PRO Version of Electronic Toolbox is dedicated and optimized for newer devices like the iPhone 4,4S and all iPad models including iPad 3. Is takes advantage of the retina display, if available and many features that have been introduced with iOS 5. The minimum requirement is an iPhone 3 and iOS 4.1. For older devices, please have a look at Electronic Toolbox Classic.
For further information about each version, just have a look at my website: http://creating-your-app.com/electronic-toolbox-pro
Electronic Toolbox Pro combines 37 individual tools, all with a consistent look and feel such as:
• Type listings (with color coding) for Resistors and capacitors including SMT types
• Databases for Transistors, FETs, Triacs, Thyristors, Diodes, ICs, TTL, CMOS, Atmel and PIC controllers
• Calculating circuit values for Resistor, Capacitor, Inductor, NE555, Filter circuits and much more
• Unit conversion for numerous types of Measurements (pressure, energy, distance, speed, weight, etc.)
• A database for common electrical Symbols
• An Indices database of common electrical components
• Calculation of voltage regulators with 78xx,79xx,LM317 or LM337
• Op-amp circuit calculation
• Number base converter (Hex, decimal, binary etc.)
• Frequency, period wave-length calculation
• LED / resistor calculation
• Voltage divider calculation
• R/L calculations
• BJT calculations
• Schematic Diagrams
• Pinouts of Audio, Video, Computer or phone sockets
Just to mention a few. There is not enough space here to cover all included features. For more information, just visit my website or send my an E-Mail.
In addition to these tools, the App offers a lot of background information (in english) and also displays the underlying formulas for a better understanding.
For this reason, this App is designed not just for professionals but also for hobbyists and students who want to learn about electronics.
The App can be customized in several different ways. A new Organizer will help to not get lost in the many functions and information of this App.
The recently introduced Project tool can be used to gather all information throughout the App as well as to import, export and even print Projects containing components, circuit diagrams and additional information.
No internet connection is required to use most of the functions, including the huge databases. Only in case of data-updates or to first-time download of datasheets, an internet connection is necessary.
Article By Nathan Kline
Nathan has been an avid Apple user and advocate since the days of the Apple ][. He has always sought to find new ways to make use of technology to assist his daily life. As a paramedic in southern California Nathan brings his familiarity with technology to the field, and at whatsoniphone.com he brings his critical thinking to he analysis of apps and news. You has also written app reviews for the mobile app site Smokinapps.com.
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