I'm currently creating a small "toolkit" application for iPad/iPhone that can perform functions like BLAST web-service searches and the like for my department, it's very crude right now. My question is: Is there demand in the Bioinformatics community for mobile applications like this? Would they be useful in your day to day work and what kind of "tools" would you like to be able to use in this way?
I must admit, I can't see the point. I do my work from my desk, which has 3 computers on it. I do own an iPhone and an iPad (I'm typing this on the latter), but they are leisure devices, not work tools. They both have perfectly good ssh clients, for if I absolutely have to do something right now, but that is not a situation that arises very often.
There already exists an Objective-C / iOS bioinformatics toolkit called BioCocoa. It is described as "an open source OpenStep (GNUstep/Cocoa) framework for bioinformatics written in Objective-C."
The library maybe found here: http://www.bioinformatics.org/biococoa
I think perhaps a sort of portal app would be useful, that brings access to several of these sort of web based utilities together in one convenient location? It would need to link with DropBox or some cloud storage API to access data files, as the file system on (non-jailbroken) iPad/iPhone's etc is inaccessible!
Well, I don't see the need for such an app. Most work can be done by using the established Web Services by using the Browser. A self-implementation of many algorithms will be limited by the poor computational power of mobile devices in comparison to desktop PCs.
I usually have all my data on my working PC and I neither like to store it on twenty different places nor do I like to send it to untrusted services.
This would defintely be useful for me to be able to contiue on the go. I do not wish to sit at a computer and do long hours of work so often I use my ipad as an alternative. This would be one more thing i can take out of the office and into the field with me.