Say hello to Android!

Preview of MolPrime for Android, main screen

As the screen capture to the right suggests, Molecular Materials Informatics has gotten out the sonic screwdriver and started porting mobile chemistry tools to the Android platform. Work has begun on porting MolPrime – currently only available for iOS – to Android. Before any Android users get too excited, though, this is just an early preview – it doesn’t do much, and there is no estimated completion time as yet. But if you keep reading this blog, you will get regular progress updates.

The MolPrime-in-progress app presents the main screen, which looks very similar to the iOS version of MolPrime+. In order to implement this, a substantial portion of cheminformatics libraries have already been ported – sufficient to manage a datasheet full of molecules, and perform the rendering operation necessary to display the structures onscreen. This is a lot of groundwork, but the biggest piece is of course the sketcher, which is next on the list. Porting the sketcher to Android Java, and tweaking it to suit the Android platform with its different (and more varied) user interface paradigms will take a bit longer.

The project is compiled against an older version of the Android SDK, the venerable 2.3 release, which means that it ought to work on a variety of devices: most of the pure-Android phones and tablets sold in the last year or two, as well as the BlackBerry Playbook and Amazon Kindle Fire. The MolPrime app will most likely be made available for free on as many app marketplaces as it is compatible with. Like the iOS line of mobile apps, the core functionality is bundled into a library, enabling other apps to be built on top of it.

Watch this space.

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