Working for Elektor has its advantages. Among other things, I can review and judge products that have not yet been released to the general public. It always feels like a privilege, even if when I review a product it is not quite ready or it still has some bugs that need attention before the official release.
In this case, it's Maxim Integrated’s Essential Analog mobile app, which is available free of charge and without registration requirement to anyone interested in components from this manufacturer. As its name indicates, this app is available for Android (as of version 8) and iOS (as of version 9.0 or later) smartphones.

Download Maxim Integrated's Essential Analog mobile app on your phone.
At first I didn't know what to imagine at all. An app from an IC manufacturer? A collection of data sheets and/or product selection? Design tools? Let's take a look.
Essential Analog mobile app
Figure 1

After installing and starting the app, a page (Figure 1) opens with 20 buttons. There we see a clear subdivision of Maxim Integrated analog components into four product groups (Efficient Power, Precision Measurement, Reliable Connectivity and Robust Protection), each with five categories. When a button is tapped, a page typically appears with ... two components, or rather: links to their data on the Maxim Integrated website. That number seems a bit small if you are familiar with the very extensive range of this manufacturer, but the 'View all parts' button opens the complete list of the relevant category.
The 20 buttons with ICs in each of them on the Toolkit page correspond to the 'Essential Analog Toolkit', an assortment box with samples that are available free of charge from Maxim Integrated. Each button corresponds to a section in this box. The video at the top of the page gives a short presentation of what this set has to offer.
Essential Analog mobile app
Figure 2

We leave the Toolkit page by tapping the 'Menu' button (with the Maxim Integrated logo) in the bar at the bottom of the screen. The app then shows a screen with 14 buttons (Figure 2), the names of which largely speak for themselves, but we will discuss most of them (briefly).

Button ‘Selector' (in the menu bar at the bottom, this is indicated by 'Smart Selector') shows - next to a few news items at the top - again the four product groups of the 'Toolkit', but this time in the form of a menu structure in which we also encounter the categories we have just seen (Figure 3). Here, however, the complete lists of components are immediately displayed, and the 'Filter' button makes it possible to make a selection from these. Depending on the type of component, various search criteria can then be specified (Figure 4). The movement is quick and intuitive, making product selection fast. A very handy extra is the star symbol at the top left of this filter window: tapping that symbol results in saving the search as soon as the star is pressed. This can then be found as a Bookmark under 'Favorites', 'Bookmarks' and 'Saved Selector' (see Figure 5). Please note that only one 'Saved Selector' is possible per category; if a new search request is saved in that category, the previous one will be overwritten without warning.

 Essential Analog mobile app
Figure 3
Essential Analog mobile app
Figure 4
Essential Analog mobile app
Figure 5

The app is designed to open on the Toolkit page for the first 24 hours. After that, the Smart Selector will be the opening page.
Back to the menu. the 'Newsfeed' button will be clear.

‘Notifications' are in-app text messages which will appear on the smartphone and in the app. Maxim Integrated will send out periodic notifications based on new product announcements, great app notes and collateral, as well as events. Notifications can be sent based on location and browsing activity, so there is some level of uniqueness. Maxim promises that notifications won’t be excessive, and it could be nice to get quick updates, rather than search the website for those announcements.
We've seen the 'Favorites' before, when saving selections as bookmark. However, it is also possible to mark a certain component of Maxim Integrated as a 'Favorite', which can then easily be found in this list. Bookmarks can also refer to videos, application notes, etc., not just selections.
‘Leaderboard' is a scoreboard, a kind of ranking for registered users of the app, a nice thing that doesn't really have much added value (yet?).
In 'Profile' users can enter their name and email address. With 'My Maxim' direct, logged-in access to the Maxim Integrated site is possible for registered users. The buttons 'Order', 'Cross Reference', 'App Feedback' and 'Contact Us' will not require any further explanation.
To be honest, when I started this review, I wasn't immediately enthusiastic. At first glance, the app seems to be nothing more than a direct link to (a part of) the Maxim Integrated website; moreover, I'm so old-fashioned that I'd rather view online information on a large screen on my desktop PC than on my smartphone.
Still, this app does offer features that I often miss when I just search on a website. The information is well organized, clear and (therefore) easy to find, especially with the Favorites and Bookmarks (including the Saved Selectors!) that are stored in the app. As far as I know, Maxim Integrated as an IC manufacturer has a first with this app and — despite the fact that there are things that can be improved — I wouldn't be surprised if other manufacturers would follow this example.
As I said before, the app is free to use without registration. It is definitely worth downloading and at least taking a look!

Download Maxim Integrated's Essential Analog mobile app