I have three calculators installed on my iPhone and two on my iPad. Those three are: Soulver, Calcbot, Apple’s Calculator (iPhone only). Add to that Convert and INCHcalc on the iPhone and I really look like I have a problem doing math.1 Today I decided that enough was enough and I was going to pick just one calculator and stick with it – there is no need to have so many on my iOS devices (converters are fine, same with that inch-foot calculator until I get out of the Real Estate biz – and God do I wish I could delete Apple’s offering).
The decision boils down to: Soulver or Calcbot. Soulver is more powerful and functional, but I only use that stuff a fraction of the time. Calcbot is as sexy as an iOS calculator can get and it rarely leaves me needing more power. Cost isn’t an issue as I have purchased them both already.
Most of the time my finger reaches for Calcbot on my iOS devices – I assume I click on it because I adore the interface. What has become clear is that regardless of which app I click on – I much prefer using Soulver. The app is not as pretty as Calcbot, but it is highly functional and becomes a tool that gets out of your way – allowing you to just calculate (I guess).
One feature I just love about the app is the way it allows you to work with percentages. I deal with percentages all the time, and I would be dishonest if I said that I don’t get confused some times. The iPad app presents you with the following plethora of percentage options:
That is pretty sweet if you ask me. The iPhone version can perform similar tasks by holding the percentages button. You can also write in the expressions that you see on the iPad app giving you a sort of natural language calculator (’10% off of $100’ works).
Soulver is far from winning design awards, but it is the most usable calculator I have tried for iOS.2 Calcbot is serviceable, but Soulver is the best offering I have tried when it comes to actually using a calculator for calculations