A good pair of calipers can measure a small object much more accurately than a ruler or tape measure. Buying one, however, could cost around $100 or so, according to RealCaliper developer Pocketdemo e.u.r.l. Here’s how to use this $1.99 app to measure something small.
Purchase and download RealCaliper from the App Store, and let it install on your iPad. Once it’s finished loading, tap on the icon to launch it. You’ll get a quick ad for Dimensions, the developer’s other measurement app. Tap “Later” and you’ll get a tutorial video showing you how to use RealCaliber, and then a dialog badge asking if you want to re-watch the tutorial. Tap on No if you feel the samw way we do about tutorials, and get right to work.
The onscreen caliper works the same way a quality digital analog caliper works. Simply place the item you wish to measure on top of the iPad screen and slide the large yellow button to the right of the caliper “fingers” to measure whatever it is you want to measure. My index finger, for example, from the tip to the end of the first knuckle, is 1.030 inches, or 26.170 mm. Yes, you can switch between inches and mm with a tap on the unit button. You can also zero out the display at any length with the zero button.
While it may have some limitations–measuring my finger required that I didn’t actually touch the screen with that index finger–RealCaliper seems like it would be a pretty handy way to measure screws, nails, and other small items around the house without spending $100 for a real pair of calipers. Your mileage may vary, of course, and we’d love to hear your opinion in the comment section below.