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You’ve Been Using The iPhone Calculator Wrong This Whole Time

The iPhone’s built-in calculator is more than a simple math tool⁠. It comes with a few nifty features that can make everyday computing a lot easier.

One of the many built-in apps that iPhone users regularly access is the calculator, but some might not be utilizing its full potential. The iPhone’s Calculator app is a useful tool that’s pretty straightforward to use, but not a lot of people know about its many features that go beyond basic arithmetic computations. With knowledge of a few of the simple controls, the versatile app becomes even easier and more convenient to use.

The iPhone calculator is also a lot more efficient when used in conjunction with other iOS features, such as Siri. Dictating simple calculations to Apple’s voice-activated assistant can certainly save users a lot of time, like when calculating tips at a restaurant or trying to figure out a person’s age using their birth year. Another way to save time using the calculator across multiple apps is through the iOS Control Center.


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One feature of the iOS Calculator app that is not so well known is the ability to delete the last digit without having to clear the display. This function is incredibly useful when typing calculations involving a long string of numbers and lets a user delete mistakes without losing their progress. In case a mistake was made in typing, the latest digit accidentally tapped can be deleted by either swiping left or right on top of the display. If there are more digits to delete, just keep swiping back and forth over the number display until only the correct ones are left in the number field.

Other iPhone Calculator App Tips

iPhone calulator

When viewed in portrait orientation, the Calculator app shows basic arithmetic operations. However, when the iPhone is rotated in landscape orientation, the app transforms into a cool scientific calculator that includes exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. It may not be an everyday need for most Apple users, but having the option can benefit those in the scientific and mathematical fields. Users can also easily copy and paste calculation results by long-pressing the number display and pasting the figure into another app. When there’s been a lot of app-hopping and other copy-pasting work since using the calculator, there’s a nifty trick available through the iPhone’s Control Center that makes it possible to quickly access the answer to the last calculation. Simply swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to access the Control Center, long-press on the calculator icon, and hit ‘Copy Last Result.’

Using the Calculator app in combination with other iPhone features is great for some fast math. In a pinch, the iPhone’s Spotlight Search can be used as a quick calculator. Swipe down from the home screen until the Spotlight Search bar is visible and directly type whatever basic equation needs calculating—make sure to use * for multiplying and / for dividing numbers. The result should appear at the very top of the search results. Another useful math tool is none other than Siri. Users can wake up the virtual assistant with “Hey Siri” and have it perform math functions like, “What’s 75 times 7?” or “What’s 26 percent of 823?.” Siri can even be used to calculate tips by saying the total bill followed by the desired tip percentage. For example, users can ask something like, “One hundred and seventy-five dollars and sixty cents with a twenty percent tip” and the bill, broken down by sub-total and tip, will be briefly shown on the screen.

iPhone users who also have an Apple Watch can actually use the Calculator app on their smartwatch to calculate how much to tip. The built-in Tip button even includes a digit field to add the number of people, in case a group is splitting the bill. The tip amount, total amount, and how much each person owes should be shown on the screen. While the Apple Watch Tip feature may not be available in all regions, an iPhone’s Calculator can still be a highly useful app.

Next: iPhone App Not Responding? How To Troubleshoot

Source: Apple 1, 2

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