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By Helen Ginn

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CMol is an interactive 3D molecular viewer designed specifically for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. CMol allows the user to open and view PDB files with complete control over the representations and colours used for individual chains, residues and atoms. CMol is the first iPad app to provide cartoon and ribbon view, transparency and slabbing for viewing proteins.

Features include:
- Defining selections based on chain, backbone, residue, element or HETATM status
- Colouring of selections from a wide range of available colours including rainbow and B-factor colouring
- Representation of selections (ball-and-stick, spheres, ribbons, sticks only and cartoon representation)
- Ability to vary the transparency of the selection
- Save custom appearances of molecules for loading later
- Downloading using the PDB structure ID directly, searching for new molecules or importing custom PDB files using "Open with" functionality
- Control over slabbing (near and far clipping planes) of the view to provide clarity to the molecule
- Ability to change background colour
- Scaling of sphere and atom sizes
- VGA connection support

CMol provides:
- Beautiful rendering using in-built OpenGL lighting to provide depth to molecules
- Documentation so you can get the most out of the features of CMol
- Support for viewing both x-ray diffraction-derived models and averaged NMR structures
- Options to leave out certain view representations for rendering very large molecules
- A website with the latest technical support information about CMol
- Contact to the developer at
For more information before you buy, visit our website at If you have any questions please email

** warning **
This app performs well on the iPhone 4. Although it has support for iPhone 3G and has been tested on it, the power of this device means that it is best to view molecules in cartoon, ribbon and sticks-only form rather than large amounts of ball-and-stick or sphere form. The time it takes to load molecules is greater than on the iPhone 4 or the iPad.

If you have any questions before you buy, please contact me on the support email address! I am happy to clarify the capabilities of CMol if there are any queries.

You can view the entirety of the documentation on the support website, - along with further images and extra information.

What's New in Version 1.3.3

Bug fix: no longer stalls on 'generating helices' while loading certain PDB files.


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Customer Reviews

I guess CMol was ahead of its time

It appears from the website that you're no longer developing this... Which is a shame, because it's finally come into its own with the new iPad.

I bought the app a while back, shortly after I got my original iPad. Unfortunately, 256MB of RAM just couldn't cut it for a lot of structures I'd have used it for, nor could the CPU and gpu. I never regretted spending the money, because god knows we need more people like you who are working to make the iPad more than just a device for mindless media consumption.

I guess not many people felt that way though, if you weren't able to continue development :( that is a huge bummer because the performance issues are completely gone with the more powerful iPad now. A lot of people in my lab work on structural bioinformatics, and several of them have iPads or are considering getting the new one. I think you would find this an opportune time to get back into developing CMol, because the hardware has finally caught up ;)


Impossible to download a PDB file because app crashes at the beginning of each download!! So disappointed :(

PDB file parsing/selection problem

It is not possible to select a particular model from a multimodel PDB file. Very basic feature to miss, totally unacceptable for NMR structures.

View in iTunes
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • Free
  • Category: Education
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.3.3
  • Size: 1.5 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 3.2 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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