Have you ever noticed that your iPad doesn’t have a dedicated calculator app? Maybe you’re so math adept that you’ve never needed it (in which case, all the genius is pointing at you), or maybe it’s a glaring gap in your life. Either way, a calculator always comes in handy, just in case of a number-based emergency. To save you from having to download a non-Apple app, it’s handy to know that iPads do indeed have hidden features to fill the gap left by the lack of an app.
Apparently the app was left out because the development team hasn’t figured out a way to make the calculator special enough to rise above the standard iPhone calculator app – but there’s a chance they could update the iOS with something mind-blowing every point, so watch this space. In the meantime, if you need some help with numbers, there’s a built-in calculator function ready to use. How to use it (Want a real calculator app? Try the best iPad alternatives).
There are several ways to use the calculator on iPad, via the Spotlight tool, Siri, and using shortcuts. We explain it below.
01. Spotlight as an iPad calculator
Pulling down the home screen or lock screen opens the Spotlight tool, which you can use to solve your math problems. It’s actually a scientific calculator, so it has a surprisingly wide range of computing capabilities. You can perform basic arithmetic as well as trigonometric functions (sine, cosine, tangent), basic operators such as exponents and factorials, logarithms, roots, rounds and more.
It doesn’t have a calculator-like keyboard, so you have to use a bunch of symbols and type the problem/equation in full, which requires some skill, but it’s totally doable, especially if you keep things simple (and if not, maybe you should anyway invest in a real calculator).
02. Siri as an iPad calculator
Siri is here to help too. Sure, you’ll have to say the equations out loud (make sure you write them down first to avoid confusion), but by and large the world’s most famous voice assistant will work them out, or at least ask the internet for you.
Just get Siri’s attention like you normally would by saying “Hey Siri” or pressing the Home or Top button, and give your opinion.
So, let’s go. Apple actually has hidden calculator functions in the iPad system. Hooray. Want to know what the year has in store for Apple? Check out our article exploring what Apple could be doing in 2023 (we can’t tell if it’s a calculator).