There are many spectacular apps in the Play Store, some you need to pay for, and others you can download free. While that’s in more of a general sense, this still applies to calculators on the market as well.
There are plenty of scientific calculator apps on the Play Store, but out of all of them, there are three apps that stand on top.
However, before I get into those, have you taken a good look at the stock calculator on your device? Not every stock calculator has more than a basic math calculator, but yours may have different options available if you rotate your screen orientation.
If this works for your device, you certainly won’t have a TI-81 on your hands, but it’s better than nothing.
App 1: HiPER Scientific Calculator (Free, Upgrade Available)
HiPER Calc is a free scientific calculator but has the option to upgrade it. Once downloaded and then launched, you start a free ten day trial for HiPER Calc Pro, which includes an expressions mode as well as other features for $2.49.
However, even with the standard free version of HiPER Calc, there are plenty of standard scientific features that make it worth the download. Because my trial for HiPER Calc Pro hasn’t ended yet, I can’t speak for the free version entirely, but if it’s anywhere near the quality of the Pro version, it’s worth your time.
The link for the Pro version of HiPER Calc is still sitting above, but to start your free trial you can download the free version by hitting the Google Play button below.
Open up HiPER Calc and you’ll be greeted with the free trial message telling you how many days you have free access to the pro version
You won’t be charged once the trial runs out, so you have nothing to lose by accepting it. Once the trial has been accepted, you can explore the calculator’s settings to see if it’s the right scientific calculator for you.
You can access the settings on the calculator by hitting the MENU button, right next to the 2ndF button in the top left.
This opens a drop-down menu that gives you options for:
- View mode
- Resetting the calculator
- The about section that has HiPER Calc information
- Upgrading to the Pro version
For now, tap Settings so you can view all of your customization options to suit the calculator to your needs.
There’s a lot to see here so I won’t cover all of it, but to go over your options quickly you have the ability to alter:
- The significand and exponent of digits in compact portrait mode, compact landscape mode, and expanded mode.
- The decimal precision.
- How repeating decimals are marked.
- How decimals are separated.
- How thousands and thousandths are separated.
There are other options to tweak as well which makes HiPER Calc a highly customizable calculator to suit almost anyone’s needs.
App 2: Calculator++ (Free)
This next application is one of the most popular calculators on the market, and rightfully so. Calculator++ has a unique interface that will take some getting used to, but the app provides a quick and easy to follow tutorial on initial start up.
An additional feature that Calculator++ has over the competition is a window mode that can be seen in your app drawer. Opening up the window version of Calculator++ opens up a window taking up only part of your screen that you can use for minor calculations. This window can be closed or minimized as well as be moved to any part of your screen.
This feature combined with Calculator++’s clean appearance and lack of annoying adverts makes it a scientific calculator I could easily recommend.
Calculator++ is available for free off of the Google Play Store, and is just one click away by using the Google Play button below.
This additionally downloads the window mode widget mentioned above, found in your app drawer next to the actual application.
As mentioned above, Calculator++ starts out with a tutorial wizard. You can skip this tutorial, but I highly recommend you go through it.
The tutorial only takes a few moments, and will help you understand how the interface for the calculator works.
Once in the actual calculator, you can hit the three vertical dots in the top right corner to open a drop down menu. This menu allows you to access:
- The function plotter
- A conversion tool
- Information about the calculator
First on the list, you should take a look at the settings.
Now that you’re in the options menu take a look at what customization options are on offer.
From here you can start the wizard again if you accidentally skipped it, but you can also change various other settings.
- Change calculation settings.
- Appearance settings
- Graph settings
- Other settings (mostly release notes)
- Calculator settings when in another window, and then customization options for the widget.
In the drop-down menu from before, the function plotter can be opened to get to a different screen for graphing.
There are several settings to change around for the graphing section of the calculator, but even with default settings, have a separate screen for function plotting is extremely helpful.
While it’s a little lower on the list as far as “need to have’s” go, Calculator++ also features a separate conversion tool.
Having a separate pop-up screen for this can really help with clutter, and is available by tapping.
App 3: Wabbitemu (Calculator Emulator)
Wabbitemu, unlike the two apps previously discussed, is an emulator. It makes use of specific scientific calculator ROMs to emulate the experience of having an already existing scientific calculator on your phone.
While I cannot link to any calculator ROMs, Wabbitemu does a good job of explaining itself and what calculator ROMs it is compatible with.
Wabbitemu has a pretty unique name, so it’s fairly hard to miss. If you didn’t follow the link up above, you can always download it through the Google Play button below.
Wabbitemu has a lot of steps for its initial setup, which is what we’re going to go over here. It will ask you a series of questions, the first being if you have a ROM file on hand.
If you already have a calculator ROM file you want to use, select “I already have a ROM file“, but if you don’t have on hand, select the option below it instead before hitting Next at the bottom of the screen.
From this point on, I’m going to assume you selected “Help me create a ROM using open source software.” After you’ve selected this option, you’ll be presented with a list of calculators Wabbitemu can emulate.
Select the calculator you wish to emulate, for this example I’ve selected the TI-83 Plus. After you’ve made your selection, hit Next at the bottom of the screen.
After making your selection, you’re asked about calculator OS files.
You’ll need a calculator OS file to continue, and if you don’t have one, Wabbitemu will prompt you to download one. Select the most recent version, which should be automatically selected, and then hit Finish at the bottom of the screen.
You will be taken to a new page to read a license, and to download the OS file.
Tap the name of the file you wish to download, which you will then be prompted to solve a captcha before downloading. You and I are both pretty sure you aren’t a robot, but humor its question before moving on and downloading the file you need.
Once the download has finished, the OS is quickly installed and you are brought to a new screen.
From here you can:
- Load a file.
- Restart the initial setup wizard.
- Take a screenshot.
- Manage settings.
- Learn more information.
If you don’t want to mess with any of that, you can just swipe or tap on the right side of the screen to use your emulated TI-83 Plus.
With the wide range of scientific calculators apps on the Android marketplace, you have plenty of options to choose from to turn your phone into the calculations machine of your dreams. If you aren’t looking for a copy of a Texas Instrument, you can even emulate them with the right tools.
With an Android phone at your fingertips, no algorithm has the power to stand in your way.
Now that you have a scientific calculator on your phone, why not tell us in the comments below what you’re going to use it for? There are many jobs out there that need one, so why not share yours?