Signals Blog

Structure Drawing Tools for iPad and Android: What's Your Dream App?

Recently, a question was posted to the CHMINF-L mailing list asking:

I need a structure drawing package for my iPad (for documents and db searching). What are the best options out there?

Although a number of structure drawing apps have appeared in the App Store over the past two years, few of them are likely to be used with anywhere near the frequency of a desktop drawing program.

Drawing chemical structures with a tablet app is fundamentally different than drawing structures with a desktop program. The interface is different: mouse vs. finger. Body posture is different: holding the device with one hand while pointing with the other vs. holding a mouse with one hand. Even what you're eventually allowed to do with the drawing is different: save or possibly copy a flat image vs. embed a live object into a word processor or presentation application.

In many ways, the new possibilities represented by tablet computers such as the iPad, Nexus, and Kindle Fire haven't been realized by software for technical fields such as chemistry.

If you own a tablet computer and regularly draw chemical structures, what would be your ideal structure drawing App? What would it let you do and how would it work?