I continue adding my apps to the Google Play. Recently, two chemistry apps appeared there: Hydrocarbons (Android):
and Amino Acids (Android):
They are not the exact copies of their iOS counterparts. There are several major improvements:
1) There are no IAPs: all questions in Hydrocarbons and flashcards in Amino Acids are available for free. And both apps are free as well.
2) There are new multiple-choice modes that cover all compounds and provide a nice variety to the existing letter quizzes.
3) Both apps are brought to the latest standards of my quizzes: 14 letters, scalability of all elements, a different layout of the main menu.
4) There were multiple fixes and changes in localization, icons, and so on.
5) In my all Android apps, the language can be chosen in the game Settings rather than in the device Settings that is much more convenient and looks very nice.
The same updates will come to iOS in due time. All other quizzes will be added to Google Play soon. I am updating the corresponding parts of this site and I am always glad to hear your suggestions and ideas about my apps.
A new version of Amino Acids Structures and Names was approved on Monday, simultaneously with the Inorganic acids app. That’s why I decided to write about the new app first.
There are several improvements and changes. I added the Main Menu, so now the user can choose between 5 modes: 1) names of 22 proteinogenic amino acids; 2) their abbreviations; 3) 22 flashcards on them; 4) other related compounds, such as dipeptides and non-proteinogenic amino acids; 5) 19 flashcards about these other compounds.
I added German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian localizations. Translating the app into these languages proved to be beneficial for the Hydrocarbons app.
My second chemical app Amino Acids Structures and Names was approved less than in one week after the first one about Hydrocarbons. This time there have been no problems during the submission / review process at all.
The English description of the app:
Do you know the chemical formula of glycine?
Btw, the knowledge of structures and names of amino acids – building blocks of proteins and peptides – are important not only for chemists, but also for biologists, pharmacists, and just for everyone studying science and/or medicine. This app is the easiest and the most efficient way to learn the structures, codes, and properties of 20 standard amino acids and 14 related compounds.
* ‘Structure – Name’ Quiz
* Flashcards – Rate each card to adjust to your level of knowledge
* All 22 proteinogenic Amino Acids (20 standard + Selenocysteine and Pyrrolysine)
* Colorful structural formulas
* Three- and One-letter codes (abbreviations)
* Isoelectric points (pI)
* Essential Amino Acids
* Polar and Hydrophobic Amino Acids
* Unnatural Amino Acids such as D-Alanine
* Dipeptides such as Aspartame*
It is a perfect app for everyone studying:
* Organic Chemistry
* Molecular Biology
– It can be also called my first biochemical app.
– Flashcards mode – the player sees a formula or a name of an amino acid, tries to remember what’s the missing info is, checks “Show an Answer” and finally rates how well he/she knows this particular amino acid (from 1 – not at all – to 5 – very well). The probability of this card to be shown again depends on this rating.
– The IAP is associated with flashcards. There are 34 compounds in the app and only 10 cards are available for free. To get them all, one has to buy “All flashcards & Remove Ads”.
– “Promo buttons”:
a) instead of the “More Games” list in Settings, I have a direct link to Hydrocarbons and other apps from the game. The button shows up after answers to certain questions.
b) The button “Watch Ads” was moved from Settings to the game as well. It shows an AdMob interstitial, gives hints for this, and disappears.
– So far it was localized only to English and Russian but I do have plans to add at least German, Spanish, and Italian in future updates.
– I may called it “a game” but it’s my first app in the Education category.
icons for buttons were downloaded from iconmonstr or were created with Font Awesome.
I’m busy with both real-life tasks and with reading about creation of apps. Today I’ll be very brief.
– I got an inspiration to draw more and vegetables. Essentially I want to draw every thing that comes to my mind. Though some objects (cabbage!) are difficult to draw realistically, while others are a pice of cake (bell pepper!).
– I drew the structure of 23 (20 classical + selenocysteine + pyrrolysine + β-alanine). I refused to use Elementals and switched to a different editor. But it’s merely a beginning. I need much more chemical graphics, not saying about the implementation of the functional app.
– Thus, I found that it’s too early to read books and Wiki for “amino acid tips” that I want to introduce after every correct answer. I can write dozens of them, but it’s hard to choose which level of the user I’m targeting. Should I teach them that consist of amino acid residues? Or must it be a trivial stuff for those who want to learn AA structures with the help of my app?
– What Color is This Monster? was a paid app for 5 days. There is a significant in downloads today when it’s free again. 18 first days of July will be definitely more profitable than 18 days the game was on the App Store in June.
I continue thinking about the pros and cons of making the Amino Acids app using . What Color is This Monster? is essentially a similar quiz, and it was written in Cocos. I had to draw all buttons and bars but I had more freedom. But that was a game, now I’d like to make a scientific application, and the design can be different. For example, I can allow the portrait-landscape rotation. Making a scrollable table of 20 amino acids would be also much easier than in Cocos. So the first goal is to play with standard elements in Xcode and prepare main screens to see how they look. Is there enough space for all buttons I plan to add? Can I add both an image and a label to one button? Only after I set on the basic design and the standard UI vs. Cocos dilemma, I’ll begin drawing all pictures and structures.
Yesterday I took a break from blogging here because I was busy with real-life tasks and didn’t have much to say about app development. Since almost nobody reads these posts, I feel free to use blogging as an exercise in writing. Seriously, it’s the most significant piece in English I’ve written since the defense of my Ph.D. dissertation.
Thinking about quizzes and recycling What Color is This Monster?, I came up with an idea of tests about the biologically important class of chemicals, . I always was reluctant and skeptical about chemistry apps. They cannot be blockbuster hits. There are maybe thousands rather than millions of users who can potential download these apps. Moreover, I wanted to show that I can do something outside my field of expertise. The fact that I was trained as a chemist doesn’t automatically mean that all I’m working on has to deal with chemistry.