The 7 Best Calculator Apps

Free and paid calculator apps for Android and iOS

A calculator app is essential for anyone working with problems that are too long or complex to solve manually. A smart calculator app that can do the work for you is also helpful so you can learn as you go.

Yes, the iPhone has a built-in calculator, and so does Android. But there are a number of third-party apps that might be better suited for some problems—they support everything from basic math to algebra, calculus, loan amortization, and more. Choosing the perfect one really depends on what you need the app to do.

If you'd rather write the problem out yourself by hand but have the app find the answer, you can do that. Or, perhaps you're dealing with a really long and complex equation, and would rather the app write it for you; just download one that can take a picture of the question. Other use cases exist, too, as you'll see throughout this list.

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Photomath: Best Automatic Math Problem Solver

Photomath iPhone calculator app
What We Like
  • Recognizes handwritten and printed problems

  • Works quickly and isn't bloated with extra, unnecessary features

  • Solves basic and advanced math

  • Lets you edit the problem should the app misread it

What We Don't Like
  • Translating a photo to text isn't always accurate

Unlike a standard calculator app that makes you manually type the whole math problem, this one does it automatically—just take a picture of the problem to get the answer.

Even better, Photomath shows you exactly how it got the answer, showing every single step necessary to solve the problem. This is perfect if you're struggling with a math problem.

After taking a picture of the problem, the app lets you edit it in case it didn't read it correctly. From there, you can see every step necessary to solve it.

A history of every equation you run through this app is stored for you to return to at any time. You can also favorite them to quickly find them again.

Solutions can be shared with others so all they have to do is open a link to the Photomath website to see the problem and the answer.

It's free for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

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Desmos: Best Free Graphing Calculator

Desmos graphing calculator app for iPhone
What We Like
  • Plots lines, parabolas, derivatives, Fourier series, and more

  • Expressions can be organized in folders

  • Includes dozens of example graphs

  • No ads

What We Don't Like
  • The small keyboard can sometimes be hard to use

Desmos is the absolute best free graphing calculator for Android, iPad, and iPhone, and because it works online, too, you can save your graphs and edit them anywhere.

One of the major differences in this graphing calculator app versus some of the others you might find is that it doesn't limit the number of expressions you can graph at once.

It also supports function transformations via slider buttons, so instead of adjusting the expressions manually, you can just slide the bar left or right to quickly decrease or increase the value.

If you tap an area of the graph, it will highlight the expression to show you exactly which one is responsible for that specific area of the graph, which is great for learning.

Notes can be added next to any of the expressions to remind yourself of why you added something to the graph or to help you study. They don't show up on the graph.

Desmos can also store images on the graph, plot data points via tables, disable the grid lines, label the x and y-axis, and quickly undo and redo any changes made to the expressions.

If you're using it from a computer, you can share a graph through a special link, as well as download an image version.

You can use this free calculator app from an Android, iPhone, or iPad, as well as directly from the Desmos website.

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Mathway: Best All-in-One Calculator App

Mathway iPhone calculator app
What We Like
  • Very extensive

  • Easy to use

  • Can import the problem through a picture

What We Don't Like
  • Its picture-taking abilities aren't as great as similar apps

  • Doesn't save graph information when you exit

Mathway might be the only calculator you need...for everything. It covers basic math, pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, precalculus, calculus, statistics, finite math, linear algebra, chemistry, and graphing.

It's free to see answers, define terms, and plot points on a graph, but if you want step-by-step work and detailed explanations, you'll have to subscribe to the Premium version.

The app is chock-full of functions for several areas of math, so it's great that each category has its own section, like one for basic math and another for linear algebra. It gets confusing if multiple areas are mixed into one big calculator, like how some calculator apps work.

The app keeps a history of each section in the respective categories, so you can always return to Trigonometry, for example, to see those problems and answers even after you open a different area of the app.

The only exception is that there isn't a history of previous graphing problems. In fact, if you begin a graphing problem but don't plot it, and then move to some other category, you'll lose that progress.

Mathway works on the web and is free for iPad, iPhone, and Android. Premium is as low as $3.33 /month if you pay $39.99 for the whole year.

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MyScript Calculator: Best for Solving Handwritten Problems

MyScript Calculator Android app
What We Like
  • Recognizes writing pretty well

  • Can show answers automatically or manually

  • Can be optimized for left-handed or right-handed people

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't work well if you write really big

  • Often misreads letters as signs

  • Can't be used for really long problems

  • Must pay for it

MyScript Calculator is the perfect calculator app if you prefer to do math calculations by hand. Just draw on the screen whatever problem you're working on, and you'll see the result appear instantly.

Some supported operations include basic ones like plus, minus, divide, etc., as well as powers, roots, exponentials, brackets, trigonometry, inverse trigonometry, constants, and more.

To erase or undo something, you can use the undo button or just scribble out the part that you want to be deleted. The app will recognize your scribbles as an eraser and instantly remove it from the equation. There's a redo button, too.

In the settings is an option to turn off automatic calculations so that you have more time to type before seeing the answer. Otherwise, if you have this option turned on, you'll get answers midway through writing the problem.

You can also adjust the number of decimal places shown in answers and choose to round or truncate approximations.

This app is best used as a tablet or iPad calculator because the screen is so large. It's difficult to use on smaller devices unless you stick with short problems.

It's $2.99 USD for Android, iPhone, and iPad.

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Tip Calculator: Best for Splitting Bills and Finding Tips

Tip Calculator iPhone calculator app
What We Like
  • Simple to use

  • Can round the total bill up or down with one tap

  • Calculates split bill amounts

What We Don't Like
  • Free version includes ads

  • The tip percentage maxes out at 30 percent

Figuring the tip amount at a restaurant, barber, casino, etc., needs to be a quick process that makes sense. The Tip Calculator app makes this easy.

What makes this app stand out is that you can drag the Tip % option left and right to see, in real time, how it affects the total bill amount.

After you enter the total amount of the bill, can see the tip amount and total price immediately. To refine what you'll pay, adjust the tip percentage option and choose how many people the bill is for (you can pick 1–30).

The rounding option will round the total bill amount up or down to the closest dollar amount, whichever direction you choose.

This app is free with ads, but you can buy the Pro version to remove them.

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Loan Calculator: Best for Calculating Loan Payments

Loan Calculator iPhone app
What We Like
  • Really easy to understand

  • Multiple views to see how the loan will get paid off over time

  • You can choose from three different pay frequencies

What We Don't Like
  • Full of ads

  • Only one loan can be saved for free

This calculator app for iPhone is made specifically for finding what your payments will be for any kind of loan. Just enter the loan amount, interest rate percentage, duration of the loan, and pay frequency.

There's also a text box for entering an extra payment amount that you'll pay per period, but it's optional.

After the payment amount per period is calculated, it shows you the total interest you'll pay throughout the loan period and how much you'll pay in total (interest plus principal).

What makes this loan calculator different from some of the others in the App Store is that it has a full schedule to show you each payment it takes to pay off the loan, including how much of the payment will go to the principal balance and how much is reserved for paying off the interest.

Another way to visualize how your loan will be paid off over time is through the Chart feature that gives a visual representation of the balance, interest, and total amount paid throughout the life of the loan.

This calculator app is free to download for iPadOS and iOS 11 and newer devices, but you have to pay a few dollars to save multiple loans or to remove ads.

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Hours & Minutes Calculator: Best App for Dealing With Time

Hours & Minutes Calculator iPhone calculator app
What We Like
  • Self-explanatory

  • No extra features that get in the way

What We Don't Like
  • Includes ads

  • Doesn't show a history of calculations

  • No update since 2016

If you've ever had to convert time to decimal before doing time calculations, then you need this free calculator app. It makes adding and subtracting time as easy as any other calculation.

One great example where this calculator app is useful is when subtracting breaks from a work schedule, or when adding together multiple chunks of time to get the total time worked.

As an example, you could do something like subtract 7:20 from 11:00 to figure up how much time you worked from 7:20 AM to 11:00 AM.

Or, to see how many hours you worked all day, minus your lunch break, you could take 16:00 – 7:20 to see how much time passed between 7:20 AM and 4:00 PM (16:00). Subtract the 40-minute lunch you had (00:40) to get the total hour count (8 hours).

Android, iPhone, and iPad users can download this app for free. There's a full version you can get to remove the ads.

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