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Where is the calculator app on iPad? (How to find it)

Where is the calculator app on iPad? (How to find it)

Have you ever wondered why there is no calculator on iPad, even though it’s a staple feature on the iPhone? On all the models of the device (iPad Air, iPad Pro, IPad mini).

Not being able to find the calculator app Is a common obstacle for new iPad users – as well as those who need one for a quick calculation or for more advanced tasks at work or school.

Related: Do I Need An IPad If I Have An IPhone? (Is It Necessary)

Calculator app nosurvey pie chart of users who used each method to find it on ipad

In our survey, approximately 25% of users (including myself) use the search feature (also known as “Spotlight”) to make super quick calculations on iPad. This is because the native iPad app is missing and spotlight is the easiest to find.

Below, is an example of spotlight being used for calculations:

Example of Calculator being used on iPad with Spotlight step 1

I’ll show you the exact steps and details on how to do this in this post. Also, we’ll explore the reasons behind the Calculator iPad missing and provide some helpful tips on how to find, and use a calculator on the device. I’l also cover some alternative options.

Related: Do I really need a Tablet if I have a Laptop

Why doesn’t the iPad have the same calculator as the one on the iPhone?

The iPad Doesn’t have the same calculator as the one on iPhone, Leaving Apple fans confused because the iPad is extremely similar to the iPhone, some users even agree that the two are so similar, they feel like the exact same device, just bigger and without a built-in ability to make calls. So why doesn’t the iPad have the same calculator as the iPhone?

The specific reasons behind the development of a native calculator app on iPad have been hinted at in an interview with Craig Federighi (minute 13:40 of the video), Apple’s VP of Software Engineering, he stated that the iPad calculator app has remained a low priority, and if developed, it would align with Apple’s design philosophy, offering a unique and innovative solution.

Related: How To Use An IPad As Phone (Calls And Texts)

…over a decade later, iPads still lack a native calculator app. That doesn’t mean you can’t get one though

Also, according to the Slashgear blog, Steve Jobs decided to remove the calculator app from the first-gen iPad just a month before its launch due to design concerns. With a tight deadline, the developers chose to omit the app entirely.

However, some speculate that the iPad’s larger screen size and its initial focus on being a content consumption device may have contributed to the decision to exclude a calculator app from the iPad.

Apple might have assumed that iPad users would prefer more advanced or specialized calculator apps, which are readily available for download from the App Store.

Also see: Exactly How Long Does An IPad Last? (The Truth)

Does the iPad have any type of built-in calculator?

The iPad does not come with a built-in calculator app like the iPhone. However, there are alternative methods to perform calculations on the iPad, such as using Siri, the Spotlight search feature, or accessing a calculator through a web browser.

Related: Can An IPad Replace A Laptop For A College Student?

There are numerous third-party calculator apps available for download from the App Store, catering to various needs like basic calculations, scientific functions, financial computations, or graphing.

Why isn’t there a built-in calculator app on iPad?

CleanShot 2023 05 11 at 23.43.28@2x

The lack of a built-in calculator app on the iPad remains a mystery, as Apple has never provided a clear explanation. It’s possible that the company assumed iPad users would download a calculator app that best suits their needs, given the wide range of options available on the App Store.

Related: 13 Best Video Players For IPad Pro And Air

This approach allows for greater customization and flexibility, as users can choose from simple, scientific, financial, or graphing calculators depending on their requirements.

Related: IPad Vs Laptop Pros And Cons

5 Different types of calculators on iPad

On the iPad, you can find a range of differentcalculator apps to suit various needs, including basic, scientific, graphing, financial, and programming versions.

Basic calculators offer essential arithmetic functions, while scientific versions expand upon these features by including trigonometry, logarithmic, and exponential functions.

Let’s dive into all the options.

1. Use Spotlight as a Calculator


iPad users can perform basic calculations using the Spotlight search feature. To access it, simply swipe down from the middle of the Home screen and enter your calculation in the search bar.

The result will be displayed in the search suggestions.

Related: ReMarkable 2 Vs IPad Pro & Air

2. Downloadable apps

Downloadable apps

The App Store offers numerous third-party calculator apps for the iPad. These apps range from basic calculators to more advanced ones, including scientific, financial, and graphing calculators.

Some popular calculator apps are PCalc, MyScript Calculator, Calculator++, and Soulver.

Related: How To Turn Your IPad Into A Laptop [Complete Guide]

3. Siri


Siri, the built-in virtual assistant on the iPad, can be used to perform basic calculations and answer mathematical questions. T

o use Siri for calculations, activate it by pressing and holding the Home button or the Side button (depending on your iPad model), or by saying “Hey Siri,” followed by your calculation query.

Also see: 14 Weird Things To Ask Siri (Crazy Questions)

4. ChatGPT


AI-powered chatbots like ChatGPT can also be used via the web to perform calculations and answer mathematical queries. Users can interact with these chatbots using natural language, making it a convenient option for quick calculations.

You can access chat GPT as long as you have an Internet connection and use the calculator to even show your work.

5. Use Google calculator on iPad

Use Google calculator on iPad

Using a web browser, such as Safari or Chrome, iPad users can access Google’s calculator by simply searching for a calculation. The calculator will appear at the top of the search results, allowing users to perform basic and advanced calculations.

What are the best calculator apps available on iPad?

What are the best calculator apps available on iPad

There are several highly-rated calculator apps available for the iPad. Here are a few popular options:

  1. PCalc: PCalc is a powerful calculator app with a customizable user interface, unit conversions, and support for RPN (Reverse Polish Notation). It offers basic, scientific, and even engineering functions.
  2. NCalc Scientific Calculator: The NCalc Scientific Calculator is a free app available for iPad that is designed for math calculations. It offers a natural display that allows you to enter equations as you would write them on paper, supports calculating in two modes, includes a large collection of formulas, and offers a unit converter. The premium version includes additional features such as an extended keyboard, programming capabilities, and the ability to remove ads.
  3. MyScript Calculator: MyScript Calculator is a unique calculator app that allows users to write calculations using their finger or a stylus. The app converts handwritten input into a digital format and provides the result instantly.
  4. Calculator++: A well known calculator app featuring a user-friendly interface, multiple themes, and support for various functions, including basic calculations, scientific functions, and graphing.
  5. Soulver: Soulver is a notepad-style calculator that enables users to perform calculations using natural language input. It offers a unique and intuitive approach to calculations, making it easier for users to solve complex problems.

How to add a Calculator to the control center on iPad

In theory, adding a calculator to the control center on your iPad is possible, but not straightforward.

Keep in mind that in order to do this you’ll need to have an app, widget, or shortcut, that is able to be dragged from the ‘more controls’ section to the ‘included control’ sections (See photo below), which would enable calculations.

Can you add a Caclulator app on the control center of iPad

To add a calculator to the Control Center, follow these steps:

  1. Install a calculator app that supports Control Center integration. This is the most difficult part since finding these types of apps that work with this is difficult.
  2. Open “Settings” on your iPad.
  3. Navigate to “Control Center.”
  4. Ensure the calculator app, widget, or shortcut you installed is available under “More Controls.”
  5. Tap the “Add” button next to the calculator to include it in your Control Center.

Since the iPad doesn’t come with a built-in calculator, you can view our top calculator choices for iPad as we previously mentioned in this article and you’ll need need to do your own due diligence on whether that app, shortcuts, widget that enables calculations will appear as possible control center apps to enable.

Remember that not all calculator apps support Control Center integration, so it’s important to research which ones are compatible before attempting to add them.

Is there a scientific calculator app on iPad built-in or will I have to download it?

Is there a scientific calculator app on iPad built in or will I have to download it 1

There is no built-in scientific calculator app on the iPad. However, you can download one from the App Store. Some popular scientific calculator apps include NCalc Scientific Calculator, PCalc, Calculator++, and MyScript Calculator.

These apps offer various scientific functions, such as trigonometry, logarithmic functions, exponentiation, and more.

Has Apple ever provided an explanation for why there is no calculator app on iPad?

Has Apple ever provided an explanation for why there is no calculator app on iPad

Apple has never officially explained why there is no built-in calculator app on the iPad. This omission remains a mystery, but it could be due to the company’s assumption that users would download a calculator app that best suits their needs from the App Store, offering greater flexibility and customization.

Tips for selecting the right calculator app for your iPad

Tips for selecting the right calculator app for your iPad

When choosing a calculator app for your iPad, consider the following factors:

  1. Functionality: Determine the type of calculator you need, example include basic, scientific, financial, or graphing calcs. You should be sure that the app you choose provides the necessary functions and features.
  2. User Interface: A well-designed user interface is essential for ease of use. Look for apps with a clean, intuitive layout and customizable options to suit your preferences.
  3. Price: While many calculator apps are available for free – some may require a purchase of some type or even offer in-app purchases for additional features.
  4. Reviews and Ratings: Check the App Store for user reviews and ratings to gauge the app’s reliability, functionality, and overall user satisfaction.
  5. Accessibility: If you require accessibility features, such as VoiceOver support, then you could look for this on the apps download page or check within the apps settings once downloaded.

By taking these factors into account, you can find the right calculator app for your iPad that works best for you.


Did earlier versions of the iPad have a built-in calculator app?

No, earlier versions of the iPad also did not have a built-in calculator app. This has been a consistent feature omission since the iPad’s initial release.

Can users use Siri to perform calculations on iPad?

Yes, users can use Siri to perform calculations on the iPad. To use Siri for calculations, activate it by pressing and holding the Home button or the Side button (depending on your iPad model), or by saying “Hey Siri,” followed by your calculation query.

How do competing products, such as Android tablets or Microsoft Surface devices, handle calculator functionality?

Competing products, like Android tablets and Microsoft Surface devices, usually come with built-in calculator apps. Android tablets have a native calculator app in the ‘app drawer’, while Microsoft Surface devices running Windows 10 or newer have a built-in calculator app with various modes, including standard, scientific, programmer, and more.

These devices offer a more straightforward solution to users who require calculator functionality out of the box.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ