Is there an App for That? The App Migration into the Laboratory

Is it too much to assume that just about everyone has a smartphone like the popular iPhone and/or tablet device like the evolving iPad these days?  I know that I had personally joined the technology revolution a year ago when I got my iPhone and now I can’t quite imagine life without it.  The impact that these devices have had on the emerging market has been truly significant and revolutionary in the way we communicate with each other, access information, and stay connected.  With over 425,000 apps available on Apple iTunes for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and more than 250,000 apps from the Android market, the development of apps appears to be a continuous effort as we look for ways to fill daily operational gaps with a new app.  Everything from staying connected to your favorite social media site like Facebook or Twitter to Adobe Photoshop Express, one can confidently say, “Yeah, there’s an app for that”.  

It was only a matter of time before we saw this emerging technology knocking profoundly on the front door of research labs and the laboratory marketplace.  Aside from basic science apps like timers and calculators, there are in fact a handful of practical apps for the laboratory, including apps for cell imaging, GC column selector, handbooks to gas analyzers, and many more.  We have a growing directory of available mobile laboratory apps on Labcompare.  

Another trend making headway into the laboratory bench is the accessibility of technical articles and application notes through apps.  A leading example is the new free iPad app for American Laboratory that allows you access to cutting-edge lab research in a variety of markets, such as analytical chemistry, environmental, pharmaceutical, life science, forensics, clinical diagnostics, food testing, and materials science.  The free app from American Laboratory can be downloaded in the iTunes store.

Do you buy apps based on recommendations from iTunes or Android market? Or do you rely on other methods to make your purchasing decisions? Let us know in the comments…

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