App Review: Lexicomp (TouchPad version) | webOS Nation

App Review: Lexicomp (TouchPad version) 17

by Riz Parvez Wed, 06 Jul 2011 1:54 pm EDT

In the midst of the wave of brand-new TouchPad-specific apps that were present at launch were several old standbys rewritten to take full advantage of the additional screen real-estate and sliding-panel UI of HP's first webOS 3.0 device. Fortunately for anyone in the medical field, one of the apps that clearly puts this extra space to good use is Lexicomp. Click through the break to read our full review on this medical app for the TouchPad.

In our earlier review of Lexicomp, we described it as being like "Med School in an app." Powerful yes, but also a challenge to effectively utilize on the Pre, Pixi, and Veer's small displays, especially the wealth of tables, diagrams, and detailed reference articles. With the 9.7” screen of the TouchPad, all of that changes. Only the very widest of tables run off the screen, and even then, its only by a single cell or so. Also of considerable benefit is the easily accessible Enyo-standard navigation panel off to the left, which, while still useful on our smartphones in a pulldown form, is considerably more convenient expanded and off to one side.

Certainly this first attempt at a webOS 3.0 app isn't without its rough edges, but by and large these problems were minor: I noticed occasional blank spaces at the bottom of the screen that would fill with text if you scrolled, and a mild recurrence of the “rubber band effect” when scrolling which was present in the first version of the Mojo app back when Palm was still a standalone company and the TouchPad I'm typing this review on was only a thing of fantasy. Minor annoyances mostly, but certainly areas where Lexicomp can improve with future updates. Also missing is any integration with Just type. Sure, this isn’t a deal-breaker by any means, but given how convenient searching from the home screen is, the omission certainly is noticeable. Finally, Lexicomp continues to use the same black-on-gray color scheme for texts which makes it look a little bit less polished, even if this was a deliberate choice.

As far as the app ecosystem goes, it's still early days for the TouchPad. Even so, it's fantastic to see the healthcare sector being so well covered starting from day one, rather than only after months of waiting, like it was with webOS's first go-round. If you’re looking for a reliable and detailed medical/drug reference for your new webOS tablet, Lexicomp fits the bill nicely. The TouchPad version is available for free (with 1 free month of access to their reference libraries) in the App Catalog.