The 7 Best Calculator Apps

Free and paid calculator apps for Android and iOS

Screenshots of some of the best iPad calculator apps
iPad Calculator Apps.

A great calculator app is a must for anyone working with problems that are too lengthy to write out by hand or too complex to think about. Or, maybe you want a smart calculator app that can do all the work for you so you can learn in the process.

There are a number of iPad, iPhone, and Android calculator apps out there that can do all sorts of computations, 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, there's a calculator app for that. Or, maybe you're dealing with a really long and complex problem and would rather the app write it for you; just download a calculator app that can take a picture of the problem. Other use cases exist, too, as you'll see throughout our list below.

of 07

Photomath: Best Automatic Math Problem Solver

Screenshots of the Photomath iPhone calculator app
Photomath App (iPhone).

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.

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

Works With: iOS and Android

Price: Free

After taking a picture of the math problem, Photomath 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 problem you run through Photomath is stored in the app for you to return to at any time. You can also favorite problems to quickly find them again.

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

of 07

Desmos: Best Free Graphing Calculator

Screenshots of the Desmos graphing calculator app for iPhone
Desmos App (iPhone).

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.

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

Works with: AndroidiOS, Web

Price: Free

This graphing calculator 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 Desmos from a computer, you can share a graph through a special link, as well as download an image version.

of 07

Loan Calculator: Best for Calculating Loan Payments

Screenshot of the Loan Calculator iPhone app
Loan Calculator App (iPhone).

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.

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

Works With: iOS

Price: Free, more features can be unlocked with in-app purchases

After the app calculates your payment amount per period, 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 iOS 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.

Loans can be saved in the Favorites section if you have multiple, but to enable saving more than one, you have to upgrade for $1.99. You can remove ads for another $1.99.

of 07

Mathway: Best All-in-One Calculator App

Screenshots of the Mathway iPhone calculator app
Mathway App (iPhone).

Mathway might be the only calculator you need...for everything. It covers all the following areas: 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.

What We Like:

  • Very extensive
  • Easy to use
  • Can import the problem through a picture

What We Don't Like:

  • The subscription isn't cheap
  • Its picture-taking abilities aren't as great as similar apps
  • Doesn't save graph information when you exit

Works With: Android, iOS, Web

Price: Free, with a Premium options

The Mathway calculator 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 Premium is $19.99 /month or $79.99 /year.

of 07

Tip Calculator: Best for Splitting Bills and Finding Tips

Screenshots of the Tip Calculator iPhone calculator app
Tip Calculator App (iPhone).

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 among some of the other tip calculators is that you can drag the Tip % option left and right to see, in real time, how it affects the total bill amount.

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:

  • Includes ads
  • The tip percentage maxes out at 30 percent

Works With: Android and iOS

Price: Free

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.

To use this app without ads, you can get the Pro version for $1.99 on the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.

of 07

Hours & Minutes Calculator: Best App for Dealing With Time

Screenshots of the Hours & Minutes Calculator iPhone calculator app
Hours & Minutes Calculator App (iPhone).

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.

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

Works With: Android and iOS

Price: Free

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).

of 07

MyScript Calculator: Best for Solving Handwritten Problems

Screenshots of the MyScript Calculator Android app
MyScript Calculator App (Android).

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

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

Works WithAndroid and iOS

Price: Free for Android, $2.99 for iOS

To erase or undo something, you can use the undo button or just scribble out the part that you want 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 an iPad calculator because the screen is so large. It's difficult to use on smaller devices unless you stick with short problems.