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The next generation of smartphone calculators is here

Developer description

Did you just say a calculator is a calculator is a calculator?

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Editor's review

Published 4 Jul 2015

There really hasn't been that many changes to the concept of calculators since they were first thrust onto the civilized world in the '60s. Of course, there have been a few variations like the scientific calculator but realistically it's only the size and shape that has changed over the years. There's probably even a calculator on your iOS smartphone. Basically, you still just get a simple keypad and a digital readout but not much else. Calcuta was designed because the developers, Coriander, felt the same way about the humble calculator. They were tired of inflexible and archaic keypads and the boring traditional interfaces available so they completely redesigned it for the 21st Century.

The old numeric square pad keyboard has been replaced with a beautifully elegant radial keypad and they added a revolutionary new user-friendly interface that lights up when in use.

Calcuta aims at addressing many of the simple frustrations that everyone has had with calculators over the years. Consequently, this app for iOS looks completely different to any other. It uses a very sleek, gorgeous and intuitive interface that is based on a scientifically validated radial keyboard that makes extensive use of gestures. In ergonomic testing, it was found that a radial dial scored much higher on speed of use amongst users as well as having a much lower error rate. Because of these findings, the developers have got rid of the traditional numeric keypad and replaced it with a stunning, elegant and minimal radial one. With most calculators, if you think you've made a mistake or are not sure if you typed a certain number, the only solution is to retype. Maybe you are calculating and are interrupted or the phone rings and, upon continuing, you're not sure where you are up to. When using Calcuta, you can simply wipe the screen aside and edit or delete any or all parts of your calculation, numbers and operators. What's more, your keypad lights up like a Christmas tree as you type whilst giving you a secondary display that shows you exactly what you've typed. There's just one single memory button in Calcuta and it lights up on or off. You move numbers in and out of it with your fingertips. Tap it once to add numbers and tap twice to subtract and you can even multiply and divide. To clear the memory you just wipe it with your finger. Finally, once you have every detail of your calculation right, you can email the entire calculation or send it out it as a spreadsheet-friendly table - all with a single click.

The launch version of this iPhone, iPad and iPod touch app is pretty basic. It hasn't been made into a scientific calculator yet. Nor does it honor algebraic precedence and you cant put things in brackets. There's no program for money conversion nor does it have the ability to convert feet into meters or US dollars into Australian dollars. However, the developers assure us that they are working on all these things and are planning on adding them soon. There will be an Android version in the near future that will have a whole bunch of new and different features so we are expecting good things. The fact is, Calcuta is at the very start of a next generation of calculators on your smartphone. While it isn't dripping with bells and whistles, it features some of the most interesting and innovative features we've seen on a mobile calculator in a while. We await more developments.

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