Where is the calculator on my ipad

A dream of relax and calculations

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.

2+2 = 4

I knew it!

It is also capable of much more. Google search has a graphing calculator with a lot of features 2

Graphing an equation in Google search

It has graphing and other capabilities 2

This is an attractive option, since it does not require any install or configuration.

Wolfram Alpha

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.

Wolfram alpha search

Symbolic manipulation, unit convertion, graphing, and others.

Wolfram alpha solve

Symbolic manipulation — like solving equations — and graphing in Wolfram Alpha.

iPad calculators

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.

Appstore calculators

Some of the calculators in 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.


An accurate clone (right) of the iOS calculator (left)

It can be used in two ways:

  1. We can visit getcalculator.app and use it on the browser.

  2. We can installing by clicking Share and Add to Home Screen. Then we have a regular icon.


A Progrressive Web Application can be installed on any device. In the image above, getcalculator.app is being installed on my iPad.

📢 P.S. When not writing articles, I contract fullstack in Berlin and Remote and create step-by-step full-stack video courses.

Thanks for reading