Some of the key aspects in the adaptation of the University degrees to the Bolonia process rely on the use of new technologies for teaching support, as well as to foster the collaborative work among students. The appearance and successful implantation of the so called smart devices (which incorporate tactile screens, social network connectivity and processing capabilities similar to laptops and tablet PCs) makes these devices to be considered in the forthcoming years for educational purposes.

As a part of the course "Computer-aided circuit analysis" (3rd year, Master degree in Telecommunication Engineering at the University of Malaga), it was proposed to analyze the existing tools for circuit analysis in smart devices with the aim of evaluating the possibility of a future incorporation into the engineering curriculum. Thus, the students were able to identify which of the algorithms and mechanisms addressed in the theoretical part of the subject were included in commercial circuit analysis software packages.

In this work, a number of circuit analysis tools for the most extended smart devices operating systems (i.e., Android and Apple iOS) have been analyzed and compared, considering different aspects: circuit analysis functionality, usability, price, feedback from users, graphic interface and similarity with classical circuit analysis tools for PC (i.e., SPICE like tools).

Although the analyzed tools are still under development, the available versions incorporate many of the usual features of SPICE. However, the latter offers a wider set of possibilities related with the circuit analysis, especially when complex circuits are considered. Besides, the tactile interface is sometimes cumbersome when introducing and connecting the circuit elements, leading to a lack of usability from a user point of view.

The use of smart devices for basic circuit analysis may result useful for practical sessions, in order to check the validity of on-board real measurements. Additionally, the feedback from users has allowed the developers to correct bugs and detect some desired new functionalities, thus showing a very good acceptance of the existing tools. As a proposal, we suggest the incorporation of an automatic schematic capture using the integrated camera of the smart devices: hence, by simply taking a photo of the circuit to be analyzed, one of the main concerns related with the usability of the tactile interface could be easily solved.