Comparing the best field app for your solar business: Device Magic, CompanyCam, SiteCapture, or SolarGrade

Finding the best field app that can help streamline your solar business's operations by maximizing efficiency and collaboration.
Author : 
April 4, 2023

Several years ago, we visited an installation crew out on a job outside of Austin, Texas.  It was a typical 8 kW install on a low pitch roof.  At the end of the day though, the crew chief pulled out his phone and opened up an app.  It blew us away.  With just a few clicks, he filled out a form complete with several photos of the install and transmitted the end of day report back to the office. 

Every modern solar business has a software stack, and the most successful solar businesses have a software stack that's tightly integrated and highly specific to their needs and workflows.  In the solar industry, one of the most important pieces of the software stack is the field app.  These products allow the field crew to streamline operations, saving them time and saving the solar business money.  But how to find the best one for your business?

Field apps: A day in the life

To better understand how a field app can transform your solar business, we have a full case study from one solar company that had a field app transform their field operations.  AM Sun Solar is a leading solar provider in central California.  They integrated a field app into their existing tech stack, which consisted of a CRM and a customer experience portal.  With these tools working together for them, their typical day went from a series of iPhone notes and disparate texts to a streamlined operational process.

However, the utility of a field app extends beyond day-to-day operations.  They are useful for nearly every stage of the customer lifecycle.  Here are a few more ways they make life easier for solar companies:

  • Site surveys: The field app can store photos of the roof and electrical panels for designers to reference.
  • Financing: Photos of the installation can be pulled up on the app and submitted to financing companies to receive payment.
  • Post-install: Pictures and documentation of any issues are collected, organized, and automatically stored in a central location.

Of course, there are a lot of field apps on the market, and they’re not all created equally.  So how do you know which is right for your business?  Below, we break down the top players and their pros and cons. 

iPhone and Google Drive 

Before we get to the branded field apps, let's talk about an option many solar installers choose instead of moving to a dedicated software solution: using mobile devices and Google Drive to document and work through jobs.  On the surface, it's an attractive option.  Nearly everyone has a mobile phone, and Google Drive is easily accessed by all of them.  There's little setup or training involved.  

Related: The 5 hidden costs of poor data organization

However, that initial ease and affordability can cost solar businesses a fortune in inefficiencies in the long run.  Until they're manually uploaded to Google Drive, critical photos of installation issues only exist on the individual camera rolls of your employees.  There's no real-time access to the data for anyone who may need it.

Additionally, after they've been uploaded, photos are disorganized.  Google Drive is great for storing files, but it isn't an ideal way to organize them.  In order to provide context about what project the photos contain and what information they provide, they must be manually labeled.  Developing a system that makes it easy to find the information you need for older jobs or issues is difficult.  And if you find one, it'll add an extra layer of complexity to the process; one that takes additional time on the part of the crew and is subject to human error.  

In addition, this solution is only relevant for photos.  It doesn't provide any of the reporting information that a dedicated field app would, doesn't help the crew understand the job requirements, nor does it integrate nicely into the rest of your software stack.  In other words, it’s a headache and time lost.  

Device Magic

Device Magic isn't a solar-specific solution but is a very popular general-purpose field app.  The software is a mobile forms solution that allows businesses to collect and track data.  It can capture field data, photos, signatures, work orders, checklists, and more from your field crew as they go about their day.  The end-of-day report generation is customizable, so you can create solar-specific reports even with the general-purpose nature of the software.  The report can then be emailed to any relevant recipients, available in the Device Magic dashboard for easy access, and pushed via API to your CRM, project management software, or customer experience platform.


  • Includes the ability to work offline and sync data when a connection becomes available.
  • Offers a large number of integrations, covering most software in-use by solar businesses.
  • Has a mobile-friendly and reliable interface that makes access to information painless.
  • Has an easy-to-use interface that’s great for quick training and efficient use.


  • The analytics options aren't as complete as some other options.
  • It becomes expensive as your business scales and you need a bigger user package.
  • It is not solar-specific, so they’re not necessarily developing features with the industry’s unique needs in mind.  

Overall, Device Magic is great for smaller teams that want to get up and running quickly.  The wide variety of integration options can also make it a good fit for people who like to experiment with other parts of their tech stack.


CompanyCam is a cloud-based platform designed to help businesses with field crews simplify project management and communication.  It provides photo management, collaborations, and customer communication tools.  

Related: How to evaluate software for your solar business, Part 1

As the name implies, CompanyCam has a strong focus on photo management.  The field crew can upload a picture and annotate it with both text and drawings to illustrate the exact issue.  The software automatically sorts photos by what day they were taken and which job site they're from.


  • Frequent updates bring new features based on user feedback.
  • It’s easy to get started with, minimizing training time.
  • Offers excellent customer support in case problems arise.
  • Includes excellent collaboration tools.
  • Works with no internet connection.


  • Some users have noted degraded image quality upon upload.
  • It can become expensive for larger companies.
  • It is not solar-specific.

Overall, we put CompanyCam in the same category as Device Magic.  It isn't a solar-specific solution, but it is a solid field app that will suit smaller companies that are just getting started.  


Unlike previous options, SiteCapture does have a focus on solar.  While they also cater to the real estate and construction industries, the company provides tools that are designed around each industry’s needs specifically.  SiteCapture has customizable forms and templates for conducting site surveys, management tools to help organize installation work, tools for effective communication between the field crew and the office, and specialized tools for creating solar estimates.  The software also has an impressive reporting feature that allows you to create branded reports customized to your specific needs.


  • Offers project management capabilities beyond what many competitors offer.
  • Has impressive analytics and reporting functionality.
  • Is particularly useful at the site survey stage.
  • Includes solar-specific functionality.


  • Out-of-the-box integration isn't as extensive, so complex integrations rely on developers using their API.
  • The collaboration tools aren't as complete as other options.

If site surveys are a primary pain point for your team and you don't have another project management solution in place, SiteCapture could help you kill two birds with one stone as your team grows.


SolarGrade was developed by experienced solar field engineers who wanted to build a better desktop and mobile app for installers and technicians.

It’s packed with features that solar professionals need:  The mobile app has dark-mode for bright days; one-tap issue creation; offline mode with on-demand syncing; geo-referenced issue tracking and more.  For folks in the office, there are task management tools like automated punch lists and reports (in PDF, interactive digital, and CSV formats) to help teams collaborate and stay organized.


  • Designed by solar professionals.
  • Ensures consistent data collection and standardization across teams and projects.
  • Unites on-site and office teams on one digital page to improve collaboration.
  • Tracks construction progress, system inspections, and routine O&M visits.


  • There are limited out-of-the-box integration options, so complex integrations rely on developers implementing custom API.
  • SolarGrade can be used with no customization, but you will get a lot more out of the software by taking the time to customize your team’s workflows and templates.

SolarGrade is a newer entrant to the field, and we’re excited to watch as they grow.  SolarGrade also goes beyond more typical field ops apps with asset managers in mind: since SolarGrade standardizes fieldwork data, you can easily analyze quality, safety, and reliability trends across your entire company or fleet.

How Bodhi fits in 

A successful solar software stack has many components, streamlining the different elements of your business.  Bodhi’s customer experience platform meets your customers' communication needs.  It integrates with your CRM and whichever field app you choose.  You'll be able to keep customers updated on the progress of their installation, share important documents, and invite referrals later.  Schedule a demo to see how Bodhi can improve your tech stack and elevate the entire solar experience for your customers.

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