It’s 2022, and for some reason, the iPad still doesn’t come with a calculator app. The iPhone, Mac, and even the Apple Watch all come with a calculator, so that’s an odd omission. Here are some great calculator apps for iPad that you can use without getting scammed on the App Store.
Beware of predatory calculator apps
It makes sense: as soon as you search for a calculator app on iPad and find that there isn’t one, you can immediately search the App Store. We also. Unfortunately, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of predatory calculator apps on the App Store. The worst offenders charge obscenely high subscription fees, feature ridiculous in-app purchases, or include annoying ads. With computerized calculator technology solidified in the 1970s, no one should be subscribing to a basic calculator app in the year 2022.
It was rumored that an official calculator app from Apple could come with iPadOS 16 later in 2022, but for now, it looks like that might not be the case, and you’re still on your own. Fortunately, there are alternatives and apps to fill the gap.
Alternatives to calculator app
In the blink of an eye, you can open Safari and type simple math expressions into the Google search box, and you’ll see the answer on the results page. Even better, a touchscreen calculator will appear right on the Google website that you can use.
You can also verbally ask Siri to do the math for you, like “Hey Siri, what’s 1447 divided by 256?” If you prefer not to talk, you can open Spotlight and type math expressions. You will get results just below the search box. Very useful!
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Great calculator apps to the rescue
Still, for some people, the non-app replacements we’ve listed above may not be good enough. Perhaps you need scientific calculator functions, RPN, or even graphing capability? If that’s the case, here are some great calculator apps for iPad that you can use.
- The best free calculator app: After some testing, we found that Uno Calculator is quite possibly the best completely free and untethered calculator app on the App Store. It’s simple, ad-free, costs nothing, includes standard, scientific, and programmer modes, and even helps with unit conversions. There is also an online web version. The only drawback is that the interface is very spartan. Numerical² is also a good choice for a free calculator app if you want a splash of color.
- The best paid calculator app: If you want a paid calculator app with all the bells and whistles, try PCalc ($10), which includes deep scientific calculator functionality, a variety of interface layouts to suit your personal preferences, and split-screen support. If you buy PCalc, you can also use it on iPhone and Apple Watch. Sure, it’s $10, but it’s ad-free and you’ll be supporting a great app.
- Best Graphing Calculator: While PCalc is good, it doesn’t do graphics. If you need that kind of functionality, you can try Desmos Graphing Calculator, which is free with no ads. Furthermore, GeoGabra Graphing Calculator is also a great free option.
- Best equation solver: If you need help with your algebra homework, you can’t go wrong with Microsoft Math Solver, which is a free app that lets you scan equations with your iPad camera and easily solve them. Or you can write the equations on the screen with your finger (or an Apple Pencil) and get step-by-step explanations. It’s amazing.
Between those four categories, you’ll find everything you’re likely to need in a calculator on iPad, and most of them are completely free. Good luck and happy calculation!
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