Chemistry App Review: ChemDraw for iPad *Update*

A major update has just been released for the ChemDraw app. It seems the folks at PerkinElmer really listened to the feedback they received from users and reviewers because they have addressed most of the major issues I ranted about earlier.

The app has gone from a mediocre novelty to a truly useful product that I can recommend to students or colleagues with a straight face.

Sharing capabilities are now excellent, you can save your drawings as images, .pdf’s or as .cdxml. ¬†Dropbox functionality is now included, and you can even tweet or post on facebook directly (although I don’t foresee myself posting a reaction scheme on facebook very often)

Text can now be placed into your drawings, allowing for the inclusion of reaction conditions. You can even change font, colour and size.

The choice of arrows has been expanded to include most typical arrows like resonance arrows and equilibrium arrows.

The overall style has changed to the industry standard ACS style sheet, but it would be nice if additional styles could be used as well.

Finally, a series of templates has been introduced including bicyclics, Fischer and Newman projections and chair conformations. This new feature is really ideal for students taking introductory organic as they learn about stereochemical relationships and representing organic molecules.

My one remaining complaint: I would really like to have the align and distribute objects options, as they really help to make clear, professional documents. Maybe this will be included in a future update, but as it stands I now recommend this app for both instructors and students.


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