Android’s stock calculator is not a bad app if all you need are the basic functions along with some common scientific functions. But, what if you are an engineer, an accountant, a student or an advanced user whose requirements vastly exceed the options the stock app offers? There are many apps in the Play Store for you to try, but very few have the options and flexibility that Calculator++ has.
Calculator++ is an advanced scientific calculator based on a powerful framework intended for users who need advanced mathematical calculations, symbolic computation, differentiation and integration and the most common sin, sinh, asin, asinh or ln functions.
The app’s interface is Holo-based, with modern and clean buttons and boasts advanced features such as support for variables and constants, complex function grapher with 2D and 3D capabilities, smart cursor placement, calculations history, support for undo / redo / copy / paste actions, keyword highlighting and direct percentage (%) calculation.
When you launch the app for the first time, you will be presented with an assistant (make sure you use it, as it is the only help you will get from the app) and your first task will be choosing between the two modes Calcualtor++ offers: Simple and Advanced.
In Simple mode, the results are rounded to 5 digits and the default unit for angle calculation is the degree (º). The Scientific mode, on the other hand, has all the advanced options available from the main screen; the results are not rounded and the default unit for angle calculation is the Radian, but you can convert degrees to radians and vice-versa. The app also includes a conversion tool for Dec, Bin, Oct and Hex values.
There is a very useful (and clever) floating window option. If you have a tablet or a phone with a big screen, make sure you enable this option, as it will allow Calculator++ to be used as a floating widget, so you can input relevant figures from a webpage or a PDF document without switching or closing apps.
Calculator++ has a dynamic keyboard layout, which means there are no button combinations and such; if you have to use one of the functions located within a button, you have to drag your finger from the center of that specific button towards the specific symbol. Yeah, we know it sounds complicated, but the assistant will teach how to do it in a very easy way. The only special case is a button used as a wildcard: ≡ (located in the top right corner of = button) which is used to perform fractional calculations in the editor and simplify expressions.
There is a built-in screenshot tool too, so you can save the graphs you make to create a history later and compare them as you modify or create new graphs.
Although the app includes some hints regarding the use of the buttons and symbols, we really miss the inclusion of a detailed Help section as the app itself is very feature-rich and complex. There is a good chance you can be missing some important functions just because you do not know about them. In fact, this app has so many tools and options that we could not check all of them because it would have taken a lot of time (and perhaps, an engineer) to review.
In any case, an in-deep exploration and the daily use should help to overcome the challenges Calculator++ poses to a willing-to-learn but novice user. Nonetheless, it should be noted that if you are looking for an easy to use scientific calculator, this app won’t be your cup of tea; its functions are vast and need some time (and expertise) to master. However, once you learn how to use it, there is no doubt Calculator++ will accord you a great deal of power.
Calculator++ is available for any device running Android 1.6 and up; it is a 2.3 MB download and will take 5.10 MB once installed. All the permissions match the app's requirements, so there is no need to worry about rogue actions. It is an open-source but ad-supported app; luckily the developer has not embedded the ads within the app, so you won’t see them unless you have an active internet connection. In any case, the ads are shown in the background, so they won’t interfere with your work nor reduce your screen's visible area, which is definitely a plus if you have a device with a small screen.
Calculator++ — Free Mobile App of the Week
Size: 2.3 MB
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