July 1, 2015 (Vol. 35, No. 13)
Strong Points: Easy-to-use, can import molecule structures
Weak Points: Limited molecule analysis in free version
The WebMO app is a great chemistry app that allows users to draw, visualize, and analyze chemical structures. The app includes a nice text tutorial to its various features that is slightly tricky to locate within the app’s menu (click on the floppy disk icon, then on “help”) but can be opened directly when the app is opened. Users can easily draw molecules an atom at a time by selecting one of the presets (C, O, N, H) or selecting any element of their choosing from the included Periodic Table. Molecule structures can be refined (i.e. made to look like what you’d see in textbooks or papers) through the “cleanup” menu. Users can analyze the molecules’ molecular orbitals, electron densities, and electrostatic potentials—but only if the molecules have six atoms or fewer. If your molecule exceeds that number, then you’ll have to pay $4.99 to upgrade to the premium version of the app.