In our popular science apps series, we are now focusing on a few apps suitable for our students studying biology. These are helpful tools that you can use for reference and to assist you in your lab work. Where possible we have selected free apps for iOS and Android devices. You are sure to find one of interest to help you in your studies.
iPhone, iPad and Android
iCell (HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology). Price: Free
This handy little app is useful as a reference resource to view 3D models of organelles within cells. The top level has three main sections: animal, plant and bacteria. Clicking on one allows you to see the typical structure of an animal, plant or bacteria cell. A user can then rotate the 3D image by dragging the finger around on the screen. A user can zoom in and out by pinching and flaring the fingers. Each organelle can be zoomed in on to see the name and a basic description. In the iPad version, a user can also choose among three levels of detail in the descriptions of the cellular structures. Tap again and the image zooms out.
The Visual Anatomy app is an interactive reference tool showing all human body anatomy systems in visual detail. Some images come directly from the premier reference book, Gray’s Anatomy. All images from Gray’s Anatomy are included in the paid version of the app.
The app has more than 500 feature points with labels, full descriptions and high-resolution images. Organs have rotational 3D images able to be viewed and muscles have a highlighting tool to view them in more detail. It has a search function to find the organ, system, bone or muscle a user is looking for. A user can pinch or tap zoom on each feature to look at it more closely. It also features a multiple-choice quiz to test yourself on your knowledge. It supports the following languages: English, French, Spanish and German.
Continuing with our series of popular science apps, we have searched for apps that are suitable for Griffith School of Environment students to use, particularly in their fieldwork. Again, where possible, we have ensured these apps are highly rated in both iOS and Android devices.
iPhone, iPad and Android
Weatherzone (Weatherzone). Free.
This Australian-developed app for both iOS devices and Android is very useful for looking up weather data sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology to determine local forecasts and current weather conditions for your field work. It gives additional information such as the current, maximum and minimum temperatures, humidity, chance and amount of rain, rain radar, wind speed and direction forecasts, UV forecasts, and sunrise and sunset times for over 2000 Australian and 1500 international locations. It includes fire danger ratings and BOM real-time weather warnings. The user can search for data by postcode, town name or GPS location.
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android
ClimateWatch (EarthWatch Institute). Free.
This app is particularly useful for students in recording data and helping to identify species of animals that are encountered during field work. It contains species’ images as well as bird, frog and mammal calls to help users to identify plants and animals in the field. Photos can be submitted into the app along with the sound recordings, locations, dates and times. Data can be entered into the app even in areas with poor mobile signal.
iPhone and iPad
MyEnvironment (Australian Department of the Environment). Free.
This iOS app is handy to carry around with you to look up environment sites of interest around your location in Australia. It uses the GPS inherent in the mobile device to connect to datasets from the Australian Department of Environment on heritage sites, protected areas and species, threatened ecological communities, invasive species, weeds and wetlands. It lists only Australian plants, animals and ecological communities listed as protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Users can choose to view photos and location maps of places of interest and species.
The Griffith Sciences team know our students love to use their mobile devices so over the next few months we will cover some apps we think are worth your time and effort to download. Where possible we have selected free apps for iPad, iPhones and Android devices, however we’ve also included some that require payment, simply because they have been highly rated. You are sure to find one of interest to help you in your studies.
iPad and iPhone
Quick Periodic Table of the Elements (Quick Learning LLC). Price: Free
Quick Elements gives you rapid access to information on the elements. It features four colour-coded tables summarizing a variety of information on each element. You can decide on the table view or a searchable list of all 118 elements with property data. You can organise the list of elements by atomic number, symbol or name. Four different views of the table are available:
- chemical categories
- representative elements
- orbital blocks
Periodic Table (Socratica). Price: Free
This popular app contains the periodic table of elements with over 30 facts about each element and audio clips to help you with pronunciation. You can test yourself in a quiz and it has search and browse functions to help you find information about each element. It also directs users to relevant YouTube videos to help you learn chemistry terms. It is available in many languages.
iPad and iPhone
Khan Academy (Khan Academy). Price: Free
This popular iOS app allows you to freely download over 4000 videos, articles and other learning material from the Khan Academy, a popular provider of Open Access resources, free on the web. You can watch many videos and view other resources on a range of essential science subjects including basic and advanced tutorials on chemistry. You can download the videos for later viewing when you don’t have network connection.
Viewer for Khan Academy (Concentric Sky Inc.). Price: Free
This app is very similar to the equivalent Khan Academy app for iPhone and iPad in providing 4000+ videos and other free educational resources from the Khan Academy.
If you want to learn how to create mobile apps, some useful information can be found from databases on the Multimedia library guide accessible from the Engineering and IT subject library guide from the library home page.