So after a very short hands on – I bought it 2 hours ago, here’s is my summary of the new ChemDraw for iPad.
1) Quick and easy to use chemical drawing package
2) Definitely chemistry only – none of the Biodraw features of the desktop are present. All the expected basic rings, bonds elements, a periodic table, Analyse structure feature, Undo function, arrows, R- groups are present in easy to find places. Online help is present.
3) File in/out. Files saved within the app can be emailed out to your friends or your desktop Mac/PC account. The file format is .cdxml. One curious thing I noted was that the exported file I emailed to myself was a 3×2 page file on my Mac, which seemed odd but probably has to do with the screen resolution on the iPad. Anyway I edited on the Mac and emailed it back twice to my iPad mail account, in both .cdx, and .cdxml formats. Both showed up in iOS Mail as the appropriate ChemDraw icons and opened perfectly. The other major touted export function is via their “Flick to Share” feature. This requires you to register to yet another cloud account where you can securely exchange files with other Flick to Share users. I have no colleagues on the system as yet so could not test this feature. You can also transfer Chemdraw files to and from the iPad from within iTunes on your desktop when you’re connected using the Apps pane for your device. They also mention using Dropbox although I have not tested this yet
So all in all a solid first effort from Perkin Elmer. For a 1.0 release I found no nasty bugs, although there was a bit of a fiddle getting out of the help/faq system back into the drawing screen
As for Chem3D for iOS. It seems to be primarily a viewer with similar ways of getting files in and out, plus the ability to retrieve PDB files online via RCSB ID’s. There are many other ways of looking at 3D structures on iOS (e.g. Pymol, Molecules etc) so it will be interesting to see what new features PE bring on board in future updates.