Text editor meets calculator in a new app that quite literally solves all your problems.
If you’re as maths-challenged as I am, you’ll have moments when you open up your iPhone’s calculator app to work out an everyday sum (tax, anyone?), only to draw a blank on how to actually calculate it.
Finally, the app store has birthed a maths app that is intelligent enough to do all the sums without requiring its user to know anything remotely mathematical. Developers Acqualia have released the Soulver calculator app, a cross between a calculator and a version of Siri that actually works. Instead of having to remember how to calculate those tricky basic everyday maths sums like percentages, currency conversion or tax, Soulver does it all for you.
To use the app, simply write out your whole question as a sentence. If you make a mistake along the way, you don’t have to start over again like you do with most calculators. Instead, you can edit your question just like you would edit a text message. When creating sums in Soulver, you can use a mixture of words and numbers to calculate sums you’re not sure how to work out using digits alone. Whether you’re budgeting the cost of a vacation, or calculating the amount of interest on your savings account, simply write out the sum using words and numbers in the left-hand column, and Soulver will provide you with an answer in the right.
Although the app is useful for working out sums like percentages (money off, sales tax, and so on), you can also use it for more complex multi-line calculations. The app has Dropbox integration so you can save and sync your work with other devices or computers. In addition to this, you can save sums in PDF, HTML or CSV formats.
Soulver is also useful for conversions. You can use it to work out currency conversions, and switch between time measurements, such as years, days, minutes, and seconds, and even work out file download speeds. The app contains over 80 units that cover 10 different categories, so unless you’re converting something really wacky, Soulver will probably be able to help. When online, you can also use the app to check up-to-date currency conversion rates, add international stocks, and check on the price of investments like gold and oil.
Soulver can help with more complex sums by using what it calls “answer tokens”. Simply drag and drop an answer from a previous sum into the question column of a new sum, and that number becomes part of the question without you having to type the whole thing out again.
As well as having an intuitive interface, the style and presentation of the app also adds to its usability. Soulver uses color coding to highlight different elements within the question, with the numbers in one color, the measurements in another, and the answer tokens in yet a different style.
For more maths-savvy users, the app contains a wide range of advanced functions, including functions and even hex and binary calculations for programmers. You can choose which notational form the app uses to display your answer, and change the way your answers are formatted.