It happens. I have to make a quick calculation while on my ipad. Let me open the calculator. Wait. There surely is a calculator in this thousand $currency machine?
Wrong. There is no calculator app in the ipad.
Rumours & folk stories
There are several rumours and stories about why the iPad does not have a calculator, while iPhones and Mac OS have it.
All of the possible stories share one — or several — of these themes:
- Perfection is the enemy of the good
Steve Jobs did not find the original calculator good enough, and now the ship has left. Too late to add it1.
- Never admit failure
If Apple decided not to add it it must have been for the best, and adding it now would be akin to recognizing failure.
- Aligned incentives
They say “Nobody got fired for choosing IBM”. Also probably nobody got promoted for a calculator1.
Be it as it may, even when there is still no calculator by default, we can still fix it. Here are some of the alternatives.
Did you know that google acts like a calculator? You can simply search
2+2 and Google will help you answer it.
It is also capable of much more. Google search has a graphing calculator with a lot of features 2
This is an attractive option, since it does not require any install or configuration.
Wolfram alpha has of the best online calculators. You can graph and do a lot of operations.
Some features, such as step-by-step solution, require a paying subscription.
There are many ipad calculators. Unfortunately, a lot of them ask for some sort of subscription or have popup ads. You can find them simply searching calculator on the App Store.
Siri has a simple calculator. It consists of voice interface only, but it works for simple arithmetic.
Port of the iOS calculator
There is a port of the iOS calculator for the iPad (Disclaimer: I am the author3) It is a PWA4, which means that we can install it directly from a url, to have a nice icon on the iPad or desktop. It also works offline, unlike a web service. It is completely free and has no ads.
It can be used in two ways:
We can visit getcalculator.app and use it on the browser.
We can installing by clicking
Add to Home Screen. Then we have a regular icon.
Thanks for reading
You can find more details about how I ported the iOS calculator here ↩
Progressive Web Application ↩