Chemcraft: Periodic Table is a science reference app based on the periodic chart of the elements developed by Dmitri Mendeleev. Oddly, Chemcraft: Periodic Table doesn’t actually display the periodic table itself. You can view the elements in order of atomic number, alphabetical by element name, or by category. There is also a built in calculator in the app so you don’t have to exit the app or use another device to do some math.
How does it work?
Once you open the app you can tap the control buttons at the bottom of the screen to view the elements by atomic number, alphabetical by element name, or by category (such as Alkali metals, Halogens, Noble gasses, etc). Each list will display the element’s symbol, name, category, and atomic number—the only thing that will change is the order. Tap on the element in which you are interested and the next screen will provide over 25 data points, including atomic mass, group, period, valence, electron configuration, density, melting point, molar volume, and a host of other Nerdvana inducing information.
If this isn’t enough data for you, at the bottom of the detail page of each element are links to Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha to let you get your geek on.
Is it contagious?
Unfortunately, there are some strikes against this app. The first glaring error was Arsenic. Not because it’s toxic, but because the app indicates the symbol is Ge, which is the symbol for Germanium. Arsenic is As. The rest of the data for arsenic is okay (according to another app and my old paper version of the periodic table from college), but the symbol needs to be corrected.
I mentioned that the app doesn’t show the elements in the periodic chart, but it does show a small graphic highlighting where your selected element resides on the chart, which seems a bit half-hearted.
And given the capabilities of iDevices, the in app calculator seems a bit anemic as it only does division, multiplication, subtraction, and addition. The built in calculator on my iPod Touch is a full on scientific calculator, so why the limitations?
Lastly, I have a teensy issue with the Wolfram Alpha site – some of the elements return some non chemistry results:
For an app that is supposed to be a science reference tool, these errors and limitations are a bit of deal killer for me (if there is one obvious error, how many subtle errors are there?). The app is only $0.99, and if some of the errors/irritants are cleaned up it would be acceptable. As it is, I’m not enthusiastic. I already have a free version of the periodic chart and it doesn’t have the problems this app does, so keep shopping for now.