Your iPad actually has a built-in calculator

It's been 14 years since Apple launched the iPad, and it still doesn't come with a calculator app. While the iPhone and Mac have it, the iPad doesn't. But who needs a calculator app on iPad when you have some simple solutions to calculate like a pro?

Just use spotlight

Spotlight Search has a built-in calculator for your iPhone, Mac, and of course, iPad. You can launch Spotlight on iPad by swiping down from the Home screen or using the Command + Space shortcut (if you're using a tablet with a hardware keyboard). Using the on-screen Spotlight, just type the calculation you want to perform and it will display the results. Spotlight's calculator can handle addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, percentages, exponents, and more.

As long as you know the correct syntax, you can easily perform a large number of calculations directly from Spotlight. For example, 5⁴ must be entered as 5^4; when you do this, Spotlight will show you the correct results.

Let Siri calculate

Spotlight is very good at calculations, but for basic calculations, Siri is much faster. You can ask Siri to perform a variety of basic math operations with ease, and in my testing, it delivered results much faster on the iPad. As long as Siri can hear you correctly, you can complete calculations in no time.

Try a web search

If Spotlight or Siri doesn't work for you, you can try a search engine such as Google, DuckDuckGo, or Kagi. Just enter your calculations in the search bar and all these search engines will show you the correct results.

Download Calculator App

For some people, a dedicated calculator app is a must-have. If you find yourself craving one, you can choose from one of the many excellent options in the App Store. We like the following calculator apps:

  • Calzy ($5): One of the best-designed calculator apps on the iPad. Supports SlideOver, Split View, and has a neat memory area for reusing values.

  • PCalc ($10): Highly customizable, feature-rich calculator.

  • MyScript Calculator ($3): Great for solving equations.

  • Soulver ($3): Lets you use natural language to do calculations with words and numbers side by side.

  • PhotoMath: Take a photo of a math problem and get a step-by-step solution.