The curious reason why the iPad does not have a calculator

The curious reason why the iPad does not have a calculator

When the first iPad launched in 2010, it did so without an app its users would immediately miss: the calculator.

A few years ago, the theory was circulating that this responded to the perfectionism of Steve Jobs. The app that should have come with the original iPad was, according to him and according to what they say he said, too big and not at all optimized for tablets.

And since then, it seems that no one has found the magic formula to design an application that Steve Jobs would have been happy with and that users can use on their iPad to add, subtract, multiply and divide.

But what is the exact reason that explains why the iPad, even today, does not include a calculator?

Steve Jobs, the perfectionist

In 2016, a Twitter user named Tangoshukudai explained:

“When they were prototyping the iPad, they imported the calculator from iOS, but stretched it to fit the screen. It’s been that way from the start of the early prototypes, and everyone at Apple assumed it would launch that way.”

It wasn’t until a month before its release that Steve Jobs entered the picture. Seeing the design, the then CEO of Apple called Scott Forstall, the senior vice president of Apple, into his office. software iOS of the time, to ask for explanations.

Steve Jobs found the calculator on the iPad “terrifying” and, due to lack of time to design one before the release of the first model, decided not to include it.

β€œSince then, it has been such a low priority that nobody is interested in working on it when there are other more important things to work on,” said Tangoshukudai in 2016.

The current senior vice president of engineering for software of the company, Craig Federighi, would confirm this theory years later. In an interview with YouTuber Marques Brownlee in 2020, Federighi acknowledged that he had not been able to create a calculator worthy of the iPad.

“There are things we haven’t done because we’d like to do something really special in that sense. Obviously, it’s easy to create a calculator, but to create an app where you say ‘wow, that’s the best iPad calculator’ [es algo mΓ‘s complicado] We want to do it when we can do it very well,” he explained.

The same can be said of the Weather app, which has also not made its debut in the tablets from Apple yet. Federighi encouraged users to look for a good alternative in the App Store.

Let’s listen to Craig Federighi: looking for alternatives in the App Store

Let’s believe Federighi’s words and show that this is enough for them not to have launched the Calculator app on the iPad. For now, then, it seems that we will have to make do with the applications that already exist.

One of our favorites is Calcbot 2, which is free to download and offers both standard calculations and more advanced scientific options. The free version includes advertising, but you can get rid of it for €1.99.

Other options in the App Store are PCalc, Calculator HD++ and Calculator HD Pro Lite, among many others. Apple may not have released its own iPad calculator yet, but luckily there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.

Is there any other way to use calculator on iPad?

Whatever the reason the calculator hasn’t yet come to the iPad, the most curious thing of all is that, in reality, the tablets Apple does have a hidden calculator. To access it, you will have to ask Siri.

Ask “Siri, how much is 10 x 12?” and it will give you the answer: 120. In addition, the calculation will be shown on the screen, so you can easily check that it has understood you correctly.

You can ask him for simple calculations, such as to help you find 10% of 100, to find out what 15 minus 7 is, and what you get when you divide 28.96 by 5.