The long nightmare may be over -- iPad could finally get a Calculator app

Posted:
in iPad edited May 14

The Calculator app could finally make its way to the iPad with iPadOS 18, and we could see the debut of some exciting new features and powerful upgrades in the process.

Graphic calculator interface with buttons for mathematical operations and currency conversion options displayed on an orange background.
Apple's redesigned Calculator app could make its way to iPad as well



Last week, we published an exclusive report on Apple's Project GrayParrot detailing the revamped macOS Calculator application Apple is developing. A new report now claims that the iPad will receive a Calculator app of its own, for the very first time.

A report from MacRumors on Tuesday citing sources familiar the matter says that the Calculator app will be available on all iPads compatible with iPadOS 18. While the provenance of this unnamed source cannot be verified by us, we have recently received details that corroborate the report's claim.

Information independently sourced by AppleInsider suggests that the new default Calculator will be a "universal" application. This means that the app be available across all three of Apple's major operating systems -- iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS 15.

Why an iPad Calculator would make sense



By providing an iPad version of the GreyParrot Calculator app, Apple would create for a unified and coherent experience across its current assortment of platforms and supported devices. The version of the Calculator app developed for macOS 15 will adopt a look with an unmistakable resemblance to its iOS counterpart, which would align with Apple's previous design choices.

iCloud compatibility is another reason why the iPad Calculator seems likely. As revealed in our earlier report on the iOS 18 Notes app, Apple will introduce a new feature called "Math Notes," which will foster connectivity between the Notes and Calculator applications.

In practice, this means that Math Notes created on macOS 15 should be accessible on both iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, and vice versa. It is unlikely that Apple would introduce an iCloud-compatible change and make it available only on one of its major operating systems.

The redesigned Calculator application is also expected to receive an entirely new implementation of history tape feature, in the form of a sidebar on the left side. Users will be able to toggle the sidebar through a dedicated button in the top left area of the application window.

While the current iteration of the Calculator app on macOS Sonoma does feature a rudimentary history tape which appears in a separate window when enabled, this implementation will be phased out with macOS 15. The new sidebar-style implementation with a dedicated button would make just as much sense on iPadOS as it does on macOS.

The introduction of the sidebar would make the user interface much more intuitive and significantly easier to use, as key features would all be available within one application window, and the dates of calculations would also be accessible to the user.

In addition to Math Notes and the new sidebar feature, the new Calculator application Is also expected to receive a major upgrade to the unit and currency conversion system. Rather than forcing users to perform their unit conversions before calculating, users will be able to calculate and convert units with relative ease.

The unit conversion system, on the macOS 15 version of the Calculator application, will be incorporated into the main user interface when enabled. The result of calculations will be displayed in both units -- in its original unit at the top, and the user-selected unit at the bottom.

Apple will continue to use up-to-date currency rates from Yahoo Finance, for accurate real-time currency conversions on macOS. With iPadOS 18, we could see the unit and currency conversion system make its way to the iPad if Apple chooses to implement the feature.

Illustration of a modern calculator app interface on an orange background.
The macOS 15 Calculator app will bear a strong resemblance to its iOS counterpart



The introduction of an iPad Calculator application would benefit a large selection of users, ranging from engineers, educators, and scientists to students and everyday consumers. It could also reduce reliance on existing third-party products.

Apps like PCalc and Calcbot could have served as potential sources of inspiration for Apple in developing its new Calculator application. Similarly, the Math Notes feature appears to rival offerings currently available from Microsoft in the form of the OneNote app. All three of these applications are available for both macOS and iPadOS.

In a conversation with Zac Cohan, the co-creator of the third-party calculator app Soulver 3 calculator, AppleInsider has learned that Apple apparently "took inspiration from Soulver for the design of the Swift Playgrounds feature in Xcode". Cohan also said that Apple invited the Soulver's creators to "join the Xcode team" at one point.

Although Apple has not expressed interest in acquiring Soulver, this does indicate that Apple closely observes third-party applications, as well as the features and unique implementations they may have to offer. Apple has been known to Sherlock features found in third-party services, applications, jailbreak tweaks, and operating system modifications.

Apple's revamped macOS Calculator app is expected to make its debut at the company's WWDC on June 10.



Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Al1RIVAl1RIV Posts: 2member
    it will be nice if they add RPN mode like on the mac if not we will still have to use Pcalc ….
    ramanpfaffdavebarneswilliamlondonomasouh4y3swatto_cobraOctoMonkeyteaearlegreyhot
  • Reply 2 of 19
    I use a HP15C clone on iOS that was available for a bit until HP made them remove it. Still my favorite (says a physics guy from the 90s).
    Alex1Nbeowulfschmidtomasouwatto_cobraOctoMonkeyteaearlegreyhot
  • Reply 3 of 19
    Al1RIV said:
    it will be nice if they add RPN mode like on the mac if not we will still have to use Pcalc ….
    RPN for me. PCalc is very reasonably priced.
    williamlondonMplsPdewmeAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 19
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,957member
    for quick calculations you can simply hit command-space to open the search field and type in the equation. 

    It's not a substitute for a real calculator and doesn't excuse such a glaring oversight but it helps in a pinch.

    Now, how about if they fix the iPhone calculator app so it accurately recognizes all your taps?
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 19
    MplsP said:
    for quick calculations you can simply hit command-space to open the search field and type in the equation. 

    It's not a substitute for a real calculator and doesn't excuse such a glaring oversight but it helps in a pinch.

    Now, how about if they fix the iPhone calculator app so it accurately recognizes all your taps?
    Couldn’t agree more! I’ve been embarrassed on more than one occasion when assisting people with switching to an iPad! Absolutely no excuse. 
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    zeus423zeus423 Posts: 247member
    Calculate 84 is an awesome clone of the TI-84. I encourage my students to use it at home. The price is right, too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,797member
    “The long nightmare…” ha! Great opener. 

    I don’t know if it’s actually that bad, but I’ve always thought it was annoying that iPad never had one and had to go the third party route. 

    Would be great to see parity with the iPhone and Mac in this simple small way. 
    williamhwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    I use a HP15C clone on iOS that was available for a bit until HP made them remove it. Still my favorite (says a physics guy from the 90s).
    I use this almost every day, originally was from HP I believe. 


    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hp-15c-calculator/id503720774


    works well on iPad iPhone

    Alex1Nwatto_cobrateaearlegreyhot
  • Reply 9 of 19
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 703member
    Halle-freakin-lujah!
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 19
    GeeAyeGeeAye Posts: 39unconfirmed, member

    "Why an iPad Calculator would make sense



    By providing an iPad version of the GreyParrot Calculator app, Apple would create for a unified and coherent experience across its current assortment of platforms and supported devices. The version of the Calculator app developed for macOS 15 will adopt a look with an unmistakable resemblance to its iOS counterpart, which would align with Apple's previous design choices."

    This is techno waffle. The one and only reason it makes sense is that many people with an ipad might want to use a calculator and the ipad would be expected to give them that option out of the box. That's it. Nothing else.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,428member
    Nightmare? Really? 

    Somehow I’ve been surviving this indescribable horror using PCalc, which runs on iPad, iPhone, and macOS. Now I’ll now be able to cancel my therapy sessions and cut back on the Prozac. Relief is in sight!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    Al1RIV said:
    it will be nice if they add RPN mode like on the mac if not we will still have to use Pcalc ….

    Gods, I loved my old RPN calculator.  Lost in one of my many moves, unfortunately.

    In addition to that, make me truly happy and give me the functionality of the Windows calculator app.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    omasouomasou Posts: 592member
    FINALLY!!!!
  • Reply 14 of 19
    I can recommend i41CX (by AL Software) for iOS if you like RPN.
    It is a faithful replica of the amazing HP41CX (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP-41C).

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    Nightmare? Gee somehow I survived by getting a 3rd party app. How long before we see articles how some third party developer has been badly affected and governments start an investigation?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,993member
    Digits iPhone/iPad? Great app wish it was on the Mac....

    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/digits-tape-calculator/id364500115
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 19
    Al1RIV said:
    it will be nice if they add RPN mode like on the mac if not we will still have to use Pcalc ….
    Agree 100%.  I never liked PCalc, but I still use the hp11c emulator from RLM Software.  Not as nice as the real thing, but it alone was my original reason for buying an iPhone.  Really!  A version of RLM's emulator is still for sale on the app store, and as recently as yesterday I was considering to buy it for my iPad.

    Even if Apple gives us a decent RPM calculator with scientific functions, I'll keep RLM's around because I have difficulty trusting Apple to maintain continuity in software functionality.  I was burned years ago when Apple gutted the Numbers app, which I'd come to depend on. And even though they have restored many functions over the years, they still force the sheet tabs to display across the top of the screen instead of the far more efficient vertical column of the original Numbers app.  The "inspector" tool was also more efficient than the mish-mash of tabs and mnus in the current version.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    It sounds like Apple announcing a car audio system in 2024….come on Apple this is not worth mentioning.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    I can recommend i41CX (by AL Software) for iOS if you like RPN.
    It is a faithful replica of the amazing HP41CX (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP-41C).

    My trusty 41CX from the '80s is still going strong and sees regular use...  although I have not done any programming on it in decades.
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