Why Apple still refuses to give the iPad a calculator

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Craig Federighi explained today why there’s no iPad Calculator app.
Apple exec Craig Federighi helped unveil iPadOS 14 at WWDC 2020, but there was still no Calculator app.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple software chief Craig Federighi just answered a question that’s puzzled people for years: Why doesn’t the iPad come with a calculator app?

In a video posted Friday, he also explained why the iPad lacks a weather app.

Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, gave the reasons for both decisions in a question-and-answer YouTube video hosted by Marques Brownlee.

Where’s the iPad Calculator app?

Steve Jobs nixed the calculator from Apple’s original tablet because it was lame — nothing more than the iPhone app awkwardly blown up to iPad size. But that doesn’t explain why the company failed to craft a proper iPad calculator app in the decade since the tablet’s launch.

When the wraps came off iPadOS 14 at WWDC 2020 on Monday, there was still no calculator app to be seen. Federighi admits that Apple just hasn’t come up with an app that would make people say, “This is the greatest iPad calculator app.”

“There’s some things that we have not done because we would want to do something really distinctly great in that space,” the Apple VP explained. “We want to do it when we can do it really, really well. And we honestly just haven’t gotten around to doing it great.”

But he didn’t slam the door on the idea of an iPad calculator. “That day may come,” Federighi said.

Why is there no iPad Weather app?

Many people also wonder about an iPad version of the iPhone’s Weather app. Tap the Weather widget on an Apple tablet, and it opens the Weather Channel web page instead.

Federighi’s explanation of the weather deficit echoes Apple’s reasoning for the lack of an iPad calculator app. “It’d be easy enough to scale up our existing Weather app, but we feel like, ‘What would a great weather app for iPad be?’” he said. “Let’s do that before we do it.”

Watch the video with Federighi answering all Brownlee’s question on YouTube: