Purpose of App Review

  • To feature an interactive tool for learning molecular structures.


Both practitioners and students alike will find the Jmol Molecular Visualization app a useful–and almost essential–resource for understanding the structure and makeup of simple and detailed molecules.

The app is equipped with a fully functional java-run touch-screen for rotating and moving 3D structures. Users can either upload their desired structures from saved files within the desktop versions of Jmol, or they can search for structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB).

More detailed information on uploading and viewing the different structure types (chemicals, crystals, materials, biomolecules, etc.) can be found at the Jmol SourceForge.net website. This will give potential users a better grasp of what Jmol can accomplish and how the mobile companion can help with on-the-go reference to molecular structures.

User Interface

Jmol Molecular Visualization displays pretty nicely on a mobile device. Of course, using a tablet would be far superior to viewing on a mobile phone. This is because the functionality is the same–just on a smaller scale.

The menu of the app offers the following options for viewing, uploading, and displaying structures:

  • Open (upload a structure saved to a file on your device)
  • PDB (Protein Data Bank lookup by either name or ID number)
  • Mol (look up a molecule by common name)
  • Style (change the way the molecule is displayed: Van der Waals, Ball and Stick, etc.)
  • Command (command-line entry of Jmol commands)

Using the app is fun and easy. Playing around with the output styles is one of the strong suits of Jmol Molecular Visualization. The fact that is has the ability to switch between different styles make it more appealing to a broader group of individuals.

Also, the search functions in the app are both seamless and replete. Pulling data from the PDB gives the app an added level of authority on molecular structures. The interface is clean and visually appealing with little to be confused about.

The only lacking aspect would be an About section, perhaps. This would help confused users know what each of the options do and how to find/display different molecules appropriately.






  • Free


  • Interactive touch-to-move 3D display of molecules
  • Easy options to choose from
  • Data comes from a reputable source
  • Jmol is an open source resource with accompanying mobile application


  • None to report


  • A helpful learning tool for both clinicians and students
  • Displays and functions 3D images well and glitch-free
  • Several ways of searching for or uploading molecular structures
  • Information is taken from the Protein Data Bank (PDB)

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

Google Play Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars) – 4.75

  1. User Interface – 5
  2. Multimedia usage –  4 (could benefit from some exporting features)
  3. Price – 5
  4. Real world applicability – 5

Phone used for review: Samsung Fascinate (Galaxy S phone)

This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.