One Free Calculator to Rule Them All
Developer William Jockusch describes his Free Graphing Calculator app with a bold claim: “Does far more than most of the paid calculators out there…let alone the free ones.” Given a few minutes to explore the app on an iPad, I was made a believer. The functionality and amount of data that have been put into Free Graphing Calculator are almost amazing.
To begin, we have access to almost everything a high school student or college undergrad would need in an expensive TI, but for free: basic calculator; graphing equations; linear, quadratic, and cubic equations solvers…But to stop there, that would be too easy.
The app includes a reference directory with categories for algebra, calculus, trigonometry, et cetera. It has most of the basic mathematical disciplines you could think of, with entries like “definition of a derivative” and “simplifying fractions.” There are also references for classical mechanics and logic.
At risk of sounding like a gameshow or late-night paid programming host: AND THAT’S NOT ALL. (What else do they get, Learning-Laboratory?) Unsung features include the units converter subtly located behind the units button in the bottom corner of the main calculator screen. This is a feature bound to make your dimensional analysis easier. Very graphical and intuitive, you simply line up tumblers with units to make your conversion.
There’s a Paid Version
If you buy the paid version, Mr. Jockusch will throw in complex numbers, a vector and matrix calculator, functions with inequalities, a probability reference, summations, and support for graphing up to nine functions at once. A TI-Titanium costs about $150. Scientific Graphing Calculator (the name changes for the paid version) costs $2.99.
The app seems intuitive to use and is heavily featured. There is only one drawback I am aware of and it is no fault of the developer’s. Unfortunately, a phone or tablet is not an acceptable calculator for the SAT, ACT, or any AP exam. Your homework, however, is fair game. Depending on your school’s policies, maybe you could get away with it in class too. College students, on the other hand, are probably already using tablets in class, and if so this app is a great add.
If you’re interested, we’ve blogged about free graphing calculators on the Internet before.