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July 01, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 13)

Promega Colony Counter

  • Handy automatic count feature
  • Can't email photos/experimental reports
Platform: iPhone  
Cost: $3.99

Counting colonies on agar plates is not one of the most entertaining lab tasks. If the redundancy of it all has got you down, you can purchase the Promega Colony Counter app. This nifty iPhone app allows you to photograph your agar plates. The app subsequently automatically counts the colonies (albeit imperfectly), thereby providing you with a rough estimate and saving you a lot of work. Users can then, via the touch screen, count the remaining colonies. There is also an option to mask out unwanted colonies. Users can organize multiple plates into sets, and they can view an overview of the saved sets on the home screen of the app. Overall the app provides nice functionality, although one feature that is glaringly missing is the option to email the plate photos and colony counts to oneself. (How else are you going to include the data in your lab notebook?)

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