Molecules for iOS Review: Learning Science at Its Best

Not everybody likes to study and learn – children are not particularly interested with what is written on their textbooks.

Fortunately, educational materials have adjusted to current technology – one of which is Molecules for iOS, an educational app with materials written by prominent science author, Theodore Gray. The app was created by none other than Touchpress, a company that has also created numerous applications about science, math, geography, and history.

Just by looking at the app, the flashy and cool-looking design makes it appeal to elementary students or middle school ones who are interested. So, if you’re a parent looking to download a supplementary learning app for kids or someone who is loves fiddling around and reading science books, here’s what you need to know about Molecules along with our impressions:

What Molecules for iOS is

In a nutshell, Molecules is simply an app about molecules and has interactive elements which allows you to prod, twist, and stretch them.

It is a sequel to The Elements, an app created by the same developer and written by the same author. Gray continues where he left off: from talking about the elements, he then tackles the different molecular structure of different kids of matter. However, it’s more than just your boring science textbook: it’s more like an educational toy which lets you have fun while learning different things.

If you’re worried about the scientific accuracy of the app, don’t fret: Gray is an accomplished science author. As for the molecule simulation parts of the app, it was made by researchers created and developed by the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group at the University of Illinois, so you can be assured that the molecule simulations are as accurate as Bill Nye’s researches. The information used in the app isn’t taken straight out from a science book – it was written by scientists and researchers themselves.

Note that this app isn’t just your ordinary one: it is critically acclaimed by many review websites and Apple themselves acknowledged its greatness by naming it as one of the top apps of 2014.

Molecules for iOS features

Other than simple and easy-to-understand information about the molecules , the app features appealing images of the matter themselves. These range from everyday objects like water, rope, and candies, to minerals, rocks, and medicine.

Photo: Touchpress

It features illustrations of the material you’re looking at, along with a short paragraph detailing the molecular structure along with its real-life uses and where it can be taken from. For example, it explains into detail where limestone can be taken from, along with how it’s being used in roads and in cement.

The images and text are beautifully arranged. The former has pretty good quality while the former is easy to read. After all, it is white text splayed in a black background. Note that it doesn’t include unnecessary and hard-to-understand scientific terms or jargon – enabling both kids and information-starved adults to learn from it easily.

Moving around it

Browsing Molecules for iOS is pretty basic: at the home screen you will be met with a list of chapter titles which lead to types of matter. Examples include Rock and Ore, Rope and Fiber, and Natural and Artificial. Though you can methodically browse through the chapters, it’s fun to randomly go into a chapter and read about different objects.

However, there’s a major issue in the app: it lacks bookmarking capabilities, meaning you won’t be able to go directly to a molecule or chapter you wanted to read about. This is rather frustrating and we hope Touchpress incorporates these features in future apps and installments.

Anyway, the app is viewable even in smaller screens. You don’t have to worry about using a magnifying glass to read the text since the iPhone version allows you to adjust text size. However, the images look better on the iPad, so it’s best to access and read it on the tablet computer instead.


Here comes the fun part: the molecule simulation part is what sets it apart. There are nearly 350 molecules in its inventory, and you can poke, stretch, bend, twist, and turn them to see how they will react. You can also see their behavior if you choose to change their environments – for example, you can see how water molecules react when it has reached its boiling point. It’s also interesting to see how certain chemicals react when they’re being frozen.

Should you download it?

Priced at $13.99 in the App Store the money you’ll spend in downloading it will be offset by the things you’ll pick up from it. It’s worth the investment – the app will give you numerous lessons and you’ll surely love it.

Whether you’re a high school student or a science teacher, the app is definitely for you. Remember though, you could find yourself spending a ton of time playing around it, as it’s more fun and engaging compared to your regular science textbook!

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