App exposure

It is the little things in life that make it all worthwhile – perhaps. I have noticed a definite uptick in interest in the science apps we developed over the last few years. For example I was recently contacted by a science writer who wanted to write about the open drug discovery teams app. This is all very flattering, so we will see how that translates to an article. Simultaneously I noticed that Derek Lowe over at the In The Pipeline blog mentioned Android mobile apps and TB Mobile got a mention . Of course these free apps have been around on iOS for several years now. The Android version of TB Mobile is version 1, while TB Mobile 2 on iOS has built in machine learning algorithms and many more features.

There is a definite lag time between building something novel for science like a mobile app, getting some visibility for it and even publishing papers on it. Finally to get more general interest, and well by then you have perhaps moved on to something new. A post mobile app world anyone. Yes, the fact that so much technology can be crammed into these chemistry apps by the likes of Alex Clark is truly incredible. The fact that chemists are only now realizing the potential of mobile apps is astounding. I am a late adopter of technology, but chemists and pharma in general seem even later adopters. Imagine if these apps had been around 5 years ago. Of course it does make you wonder how many apps will survive and live on in one form or another as the software and mobile device tastes change. It would be a shame to lose some of the innovation just when its getting real traction and credibility.  A discussion of the legacy of the data and algorithms created in these apps needs to be going on to prevent someone else in the future repeating what has already been created.

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