November 1, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 19)
Strong Points: Easy to search and download files
Weak Points: None
The Molecules app is exactly the type of app one expects to see in an iPad commercial—a beautiful, rotating macromolecule covers the screen, with the user able to manipulate its orientation and zoom in/out with a finger’s touch. (One can almost hear the commercial voiceover now: “If you want to hold DNA in the palm of your hand…”) This is a fantastic app because it just…works. It is incredibly easy. Users can add molecules to their library by simply tapping the “+” button. This brings up a search in either PubChem or the Protein Data Bank. The desired files can then be downloaded. The actual structure can be viewed as a ball-and-stick or space-filling model, and the rotation feature can be turned on or off. This is both a very informative and an incredibly fun app to explore molecular structures.