With the increasing ubiquity of smartphones, the growing popularity of tablets, and the burgeoning market for third-party applications, the public appetite for touchscreen technology is virtually impossible to ignore. It shouldn’t, then, surprise anyone that bioinformatics software developers would look for ways to tap into the multi-touch market.
But it’s not just about making sure that download tallies are going up. In fact, some life science application developers say they dipped into the app space out of sheer curiosity more than anything else.
“For us, it was an experiment,” says Andrew Su, an associate professor at the Scripps Research Institute. His laboratory developed an application called BioGPS, a mobile version of his group’s web-based gene annotation portal, which runs on Apple’s iPhone.
“We imagined that somebody in a meeting or a seminar or at a conference who needed quick access to some gene-centric information would use the BioGPS app,” he says.