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Are There Any Apps To Replace Scientific Calculators?


Chris brought us back in IFA History with the precursor to television:

Transmitting pictures is a very old dream of engineers. Already in 1883, Paul Nipkow, a German engineer, developed the basic idea of a disc with tiny holes which could break a picture into several pieces. The Nipkow disc, patented in 1884, became the basis of all future television technologies. In 1897 the German engineer Ferdinand Braun invented the cathode ray tube. He had no idea that he had created the basis of a future mass medium. Hundreds of millions of these tubes, CRT in short, became the core display of television sets for about a hundred years and was the star of IFA for decades.


Jeff in Palestine, Texas listens on KNET 1450 AM and asked:

I was wondering, there’s lots of us out there who use scientific calculators. It’s hard to find an app for a phone that replicates the true scientific calculators of yesterday. Do you have any suggestions or maybe an app store where we might find these kinds of apps so that we can continue to use our favorite calculators, but on our smartphone?


Jeff, there are some graphing and scientific calculator apps for your phone, but it’s likely they none of them will be able to fully replace your scientific calculator.

Scientific calculators are surprisingly complex and even though your phone can perform all the same functions, not many companies want to release a 99 cent app that will make their $100+ calculators obsolete, and not many individuals want to spend hours and hours working on a complex calculator that only a few people need and they won’t be able to sell for a lot of money.

Having said that, you may be able to replace the functions you need by using one or more apps, and don’t forget you also have access to the internet where you can use resources like Wolfram Alpha.

Don’t forget you also have access to the internet where you can use resources like Wolfram Alpha.

You asked about apps though, and you can definitely find some that try to replicate what scientific calculators can do, so we’ll give you some to try.

If you’re looking for a full graphing calculator alternative to give your TI-84 a rest, you can try Graphing Calculator on Android or Free Graphing Calculator on iOS. Mathway may be an interesting iOS app to have a look at too, it has a different layout from classic calculators, but you may like it.

If you’re looking for a simpler numerical scientific calculator, your built in calculator app may be enough, but if you want something more powerful RealCalc on Android or CalcMadeEasy on iOS may be for you.

The nice thing is that all of those apps are free to try, some offer in-app purchases that get rid of some ad banners, but you can download any of them, play around and see how you like them, and if they won’t work for you, you can keep using your trusty old calculator and you will have wasted $0.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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  1. I miss Scalar here. The advantage of Scalar is that it is powered by math engine. This gives a flexibility of scripting (a kind of a command line calculator). Additionally Scalar delivers function charts with many customization features. Strong recommendation of mine.

    Links – worth to check:
    Scalar Lite:
    Scalar Pro: