Review

HiCalc isn’t just a calculator. It is an everyday, everyday math tool. On the surface it has 1 calculators from scientific to conversion as well as numerous tools for daily life like a Tip Calculator, Finance or Date and Time calculations. In a nutshell, it is pretty awesome.

Since there are so many parts of the app to consider, I will discuss each part separately and then evaluate the entire app generally. For starters, the interface is pretty, albeit slow with animations and transitions. It certainly calculates things correctly which is a must for a calculator.

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Basic Calculator

Nothing fancy, on first startup, you will be brought to this screen where you can find the number pad and functions like square, square root, parenthesis and memory. What I find awesome (and potentially tedious for large fingers) is the bar on top of the functions that brings up a series of lesser well known options like RPN, String, Standard modes, degrees or radians, history, and display options. The calculations are done without lag and it really is a simple, basic calculator.

 

Scientific

With a swipe gesture to the left, you get the Scientific mode, which gives more advanced functions like logarithms, factorial, complex, trig and much more! This screen really works better than Apple’s native calculator. Once you’ve gotten a complex expression entered, my favorite thing to do is use the “…” math symbols option that shows the expression in LaTeX.

What I don’t like about it though are two things, although they promote better math communication is that you have to end all the parenthesis before you press enter (and it also doesn’t tell you how deep you are into the parenthesis nesting).

 

Unit Converter

First off, the amount of categories of units far exceed any unit converter I’ve seen so far, over 130!! The fact is that these units not only help in the classroom for units like viscosity and heat, but also practical like shoe size and currency. You can of course filter and save the ones you like. Once again, the flaw with apps that are too feature rich are the occasional lag and UI glitches. The UI also needs to be learned a bit, as it wasn’t very intuitive to select units by touching the circles, then pressing done.

 

Date and Time

Just in this section alone, there are four different tabs that will do your bidding. They are “Difference”, “Add/Subtract”, “Count up/down” and world clock. All these tabs work exceptionally well. To fit all this information in, the devs did have to squish a bit, so tapping on buttons may be difficult at first. Overall, this feature is great, works well and information dense.

 

Tip Calculator

Throw away your dedicated tip calculator apps, although this one may not be as pretty as some of the others, this one is bundled in so it saves some network bandwidth. You get the choice of the bill price, tip percent and number of people. Simple and sweet!

 

Base conversion

For those hardcore computer geeks (like me) who need to understand numbers in binary, hexadecimal or octal, this section is for you! The conversion process may not be straightforward. You need to enter a number in the selected base, then tap the button on the very left that says “Dec”, “Hex”, “Oct”, or “Bin” and select the new unit. This may seem like a lot of steps for you but with the calculation functions as well like adding in binary, or other basic operations, this is a pretty viable tool.

 

Equation Solver

Phew, 3/4 of the way there! Just like some of the other components, this component isn’t that straightforward, but it is intuitive. Basically, you enter your coefficients, followed by a space (numbers beside the variable) and it will preview what it looks at the top. Hit solve and you get the roots. Once you solve, you can hit a button. On the middle right to preview a graph of the equation. Very handy!

 

Statistics

Just a disclaimer, I’m not very good at statistics, but you have to enter your data using the green button labeled “Data”, the run functions on it like sum, average and other fancy stuff which would probably serve accountants, mathematicians and university students good.

 

Finance

Oh, even more stuff I don’t understand :) . This seems like a great component that can be useful to a number of interested members, but I cannot judge this section with my current knowledge of finance. You can calculate loan, mortgage, rate, etc.

 

Overall

There are many pros to this app for sure, such as varied calculators for the calculator deprived, many, many features, functions and options, each component can be a separate app sold for money, and a generally clean interface. it has copy/paste, history, email, and many more of the regular features.

Of course though, the calculator bundle does have flaws, and the major one in my opinion is the responsiveness. If you want to switch components, use the grid button (four squares) instead of swiping for a smoother performance. It’s delete key also confuses me sometimes when editing, because it selects the character and not the cursor position.

Final impressions is that this app is that it is the most full featured calculator on the App Store, and yes, it is definitely worth your $0.99!

 

Screenshots

HiCalc iPhone Review Select Calculator Module HiCalc iPhone Review Equation Solver HiCalc iPhone Review Graphing Calculator HiCalc iPhone Review Tip Calculator HiCalc iPhone Review Statistic HiCalc iPhone Review Finance HiCalc iPhone Review Settings HiCalc iPhone Review Basic Calculator