How to Use the iPhone Calculator

Plus, tips on using the iPhone scientific calculator

Your iPhone can not only help you calculate a tip, it's got a scientific calculator handy if you know where to look. Here's where to find the iPhone calculator, how to use it, and some fun tips and tricks to make use of its features.

Where Is the iPhone Calculator App?

You can find the calculator in three places:

  • Home Screen: First, it will come as a preloaded app on your iPhone, and will be on your home screen. You may need to swipe through a page or two to find it.
  • Control Center: Open the Control Center and there's a dedicated icon to open the calculator, next to the camera icon. One advantage of this method is you can use the calculator, or give your phone for someone else to use it, without unlocking your iPhone.
  • Siri: If your hands are full at the moment, just say “Hey, Siri, open the Calculator app.” You can also search for it.
Calculator icon on Home Screen and in Control Center on iOS

Siri can also do most basic calculations, like percentages. It's worth trying out if you need a quick answer to a mathematical question.

Are There iPhone Calculator Settings?

With the iPhone, you get what you get; there are no settings to play with, not even to change the colors of the buttons. You can download third-party apps that will change the cosmetic look of the iPhone calculator, but for anything more advanced, or for features like graphing, you'll have to look for an entirely new calculator app. 

Where Is the iPhone Scientific Calculator?

The iPhone's scientific calculator

Need to find a few radians? Just open the Calculator app, turn your iPhone to the landscape orientation, and a scientific calculator will appear. 

Rotation lock button in iOS Control Center

If you rotate your screen and the calculator doesn't appear, your iPhone is locked in Portrait mode. Swipe up from the bottom and press the red lock button to enable screen rotation.

Tips and Tricks for the Calculator App

As handy as the calculator app is, there are a few features you're never told about, including:

  • Deleting digits: If you need to delete something you entered, swipe left or right at the top, and the calculator will delete the offending digit. Note that this gesture only deletes, it doesn't restore; if you swipe left to restore something, you'll just delete another digit.
  • Saving results: If you need to switch between the standard calculator and the scientific, you won't have to worry about losing your result; the Calculator app keeps your numbers up top as you rotate between modes (or if you drop your phone). Standard mode will show fewer digits, however, so if you need precision, you should stick to scientific.
  • Copy and Paste: You can copy and paste your results. Give the number a long press and it will put the result on your iPhone's clipboard.
  • Calculator and Screen Mirroring: If you need to do some quick math in a group meeting, use the iPhone's screen mirroring tools to put the calculator on the screen, and run the math in real time.
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