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May 01, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 9)

MEL Chemistry

  • Beautiful 3D images, large collection of molecules
  • Somewhat commercial, videos require internet connection
Platform: iPad, iPhone, Android  
Cost: Free

The MEL Chemistry app is a nice (albeit somewhat simple) educational app that allows users to view the 2D and 3D structures for a number of molecules and ionic compounds. In total there are eighty molecules included in the app at the time of this review, though the company behind the app (MEL Science) promises that they will be continually adding new structures. The molecules are beautifully rendered, and users can quickly shift among different visualization options: 3D space-filling model, 3D ball-and-stick model, 2D chemical drawing, and (when applicable) crystal lattice structure. The seemingly random assortment of molecules included in the app is actually comprised of reagents available for purchase from MEL Science, which sells monthly chemistry set subscriptions. Videos of the company’s do-it-at-home science experiments included within the app (with an internet connection) further evoke a “wow” factor, even if it is commercially motivated.

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  • Good