We have received a few emails asking us to provide ChemDoodle on the iPad. We have had several internal discussions since the unveiling of the product, and I regret to state that we will not be providing ChemDoodle on that platform anytime soon. However, we are continuing to research tablet and hand-recognition technologies relevant to the sciences, just not specifically for the iPad.

We were actually eagerly awaiting Apple’s announcement yesterday, hoping to produce a Tablet version of ChemDoodle. We even began trademarking ChemTablet(TM) (we own the website too: http://www.chemtablet.com ). Unfortunately, we were all disappointed when Apple revealed the iPad platform was based on iPhone OS, rather than a mobile version of Mac OSX. Because of this choice, Apple has locked out our company from development on the platform, as we focus on portable technologies such as Java and HTML 5. We do not see Apple supporting Java on iPhone OS anytime soon.

We would, of course, also like to develop a native Objective-C application on iPhone OS. However, this would require considerable fundraising and that branch of our team would take at least 3 years to catch up to all of the functionality in ChemDoodle for the desktop. Additionally, we would need to provide advanced functionality that our customers would require before purchasing, such as the ability to provide round trip editing through iWork. iPhone OS does not allow two applications to be run simultaneously, so having a native link between iWork and ChemDoodle on this platform is theoretical at best. Lastly, I am not sure all, or even a significant amount, of scientists will own an iPad or use it in a laboratory, which makes me worry about the risks we would be taking by pushing so many resources into developing a native iPhone OS product.

That being said, we do wish to support as many platforms as possible, and we are still investigating tablet technologies (we have a few projects we have not yet disclosed for hand sketching recognition of structures among other things). We will just need to wait for Apple to allow our products on their platform before the iPad sees our product line.

If you have any thoughts, please feel free to contact us, we will gladly listen.