Make iPhone’s Calculator app easy to access with Control Center [Pro tip]

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Add the Calculator app to Control Center
There's no need for the Calculator to take up Home screen space.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Control Center Pro Tips WeekWe want to help you master Control Center, one of the most powerful and underutilized features on Apple devices. Cult of Mac’s Control Center Pro Tips series will show you how to make the most of this useful toolbox on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac.

You don’t need to keep the Calculator app on your iPhone’s Home screen just to make it easy to find when you need it. Add it to Control Center instead and you’ll be ready to do math anywhere, anytime with just a swipe and a tap.

We’ll show you how.

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.

Amazing Mac calculator Soulver adds handy QuickSoulver panel

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calculator
Normal calculator apps are so last century.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Soulver is my favorite Mac calculator app, because it doesn’t act like a normal calculator. Imagine that you have a piece of paper on which you jot calculations. Then, the paper works out the results for you. Soulver is like that — you type in the sums, and it solves them. You can rework the problems, just like you could on paper, and you can save the whole sheet. And now, in v3.3, the app’s maker added a brand-new Spotlight-like QuickSoulver popup panel that lets you perform instant calculations.

OMFG the Mac’s Calculator has always had a paper tape

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You are the operator of a pocket calculator. The Mac calculator paper tape function is a hidden hoot.
You are the operator of a pocket calculator.
Photo: Jim Champion/Flickr CC

If you don’t already know it, then this tip is about to blow your mind. It’s the paper roll for the Mac’s Calculator app, which has been a feature since, like, forever. You may have been using the Calculator since the very beginnings of Mac OS X, and yet you may still have never seen it.

There’s an old proverb: “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today.” That totally applies to the Mac Calculator’s paper toll. Let’s check it out.

Pro Tip: Quickly delete numbers in iPhone Calculator app

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calculator
They don't make them like this any more. Thank God.
Photo: Seth Morabito/Flickr CC

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug Doing a bit of quick adding-up in the iPhone calculator app? Or are you in the middle of a complex series of calculations better suited to a spreadsheet, but you used the Calculator anyway? A mis-hit key can spell anything from annoyance to disaster, forcing you to bang on the C key a few times to reset the the whole calculation, and start over.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With this quick pro tip, you can easily delete just one digit at a time.

Apple drops big batch of new beta updates

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iOS 11
iOS 11.2 brings Apple TV support to Control Center.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Developers received a bunch of new beta software updates from Apple today that included the third beta of iOS 11.2 and macOS 10.13.3 beta 3 as well.

The new betas contain a number of bug fixes and performance improvements as Apple prepares to launch Apple Pay cash and other new additions to the public later this year.

Why the iPad has never shipped with a calculator app

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iPad Pro
Finally the reason for no native calculator app adds up.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

As crazy as it sounds given the wide range of use-cases Apple makes possible with the iPad, it has never shipped with a built-in calculator app. And, according to a recent post on Twitter from a user claiming to be an ex-Apple employee, we may finally have an explanation.

Shock horror: it involves Steve Jobs being a perfectionist.

Check it out below.

3 super-easy ways to convert currency with your Mac

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Your Mac's calculator has some tricks up its sleeve. Photo: Rob LeFebvre
Your Mac's calculator has some tricks up its sleeve. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

As the world gets smaller and smaller thanks to the global marketplace called the internet, you may sometimes need to know exactly how much your dollar will get you in the wider world. Is that £15 widget really worth it? You’ll only know if you convert it to some form of currency that you understand better.

Your Mac has at least three ways to do this sort of calculation: with a Dashboard widget, the built-in Calculator app, and even with Spotlight. Here’s how to convert currencies into something that makes more sense, right from your handy Mac computer.

How To Use Spotlight Search As A Calculator [OS X Tips]

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Spotlight as Calculator

When I’m sitting at my Mac and need to do a quick bit of calculation, I typically launch the Calculator app with my app launcher of choice, Alfred.

If you don’t want to launch the app, click on the numbers, or enter in the calculations via that graphical interface, you can just use Spotlight.

First off, activate Spotlight by hitting the Command and Space keys on your keyboard, or by clicking on the little magnifying glass in the upper right of your Mac’s screen.

Enable Speech Mode And Make Your OS X Calculator Talk [OS X Tips]

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Talking Calculator

Sometimes, when you’re tapping away at a calculator, it helps to hear what you’re typing in. It’s like a second stream of information for your brain, and it helps keep things more accurate. There are a variety of talking calculators on the market, and a bunch of iOS apps that do the same thing.

Did you know, however, that you can make the calculator bundled in with OS X talk to you, too? Me neither.

Here’s how.