Science: there's an app for that! (Part 2)
By Keir Liddle
In part one, I detailed three of my favourite science apps. Here, I offer up three more- thus combined, the two posts make for “six of the best”. Again, these are not in any particular order…
We can have the “is maths a science?” debate another time. For now, I’d rather marvel at the simple calculation tricks which this app teaches. For someone whose maths is, or rather was, fairly appalling, the mental arithmetic tricks this apps teaches have made me feel like some sort of mathematical genius– or at the least, slightly less innumerate! There’s nothing particularly “special” about the app, but learning and perfecting the maths trickery it teaches has me truly addicted.
EleMints is a totally interactive Periodic Table for the iPhone and iPod Touch. However, it not only offers a Periodic Table, but also a Plot Graph, Element Listing, Molar Mass Calculator, and more. This app seems to tell you anything you could want to know about the elements and the basics of chemistry. It also provides useful assistance at pub quizzes… depending on the sorts of pub quizzes you attend, I suppose!
NASA’s official iPhone app is a boon to anyone with an interest in space. It’s linked to the NASAImages.org collection, with over 125,000 new images to browse and search. It has information about NASA launches and missions, access to NASA videos from NASA television, and also furnishes you with updates from the NASA twitter feed.
But possibly its best feature is that it informs you of visible sighting opportunities for the International Space Station (ISS) and Space Shuttle, by home location and through search for location. A boon for amateur astronomers and space watchers!
There are, of course, a few apps that I could also have included alongside the six contained over these two articles. These would include TED – an app that allows you to watch TED talks on the iPhone and Wolfram Alpha – the computational search engine app.
TED just missed out because its talks are not always strictly speaking about science, although they are always entertaining and informative! The app features video and audio content.
Wolfram missed out, well, because of the price. Wolfram is a useful search tool and very, very powerful, but the iPhone app is just far too expensive for what it actually does– which is essentially just everything that the website does, but in an app!
So there you have it. A list of my favourite science-related apps on the iPhone. Now that my apple geekery has been sated, I can get back to some science and scepticism!