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​Why iPads Still Don't Have a Calculator App Despite Being Launched in 2010

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Last Updated: May 12, 2021, 14:25 IST

Apple Explained / YouTube.

Apple Explained / YouTube.

You can find a stock calculator app in all the iPhones, Macs, and even in the Apple watches. So, how did the company ignore this basic but useful tool in its range of iPads?

When it comes to redefining technology, Apple is one big name that never disappoints. From introducing Apple 1 — company's first pre-assembled computer in 1976 to launching iPhone in 2007, which forever changed the smartphone industry, the Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak-started company has come a long way. However, when Apple launched the first iPad in 2010, it did not have a basic feature that you can find on almost any gadget with a display screen — a calculator app. You can find a stock calculator app in all the iPhones, Macs, and even in the Apple watches. So, how did the company ignore this basic but useful tool in its range of iPads?

When the iPad was being created, Scott Forstall was leading the software development team for the gadget, and was responsible for the initial skeuomorphic interface featured in iOS, Youtube channel Apple Explainedrevealed in its explainer video.

As explained in the video, the software team led by Forstall did not design a new calculator app and simply scaled up the version that was included in iPhones.

However, when Steve Jobs saw this calculator app for the soon-to-be-released iPad, he met Forstall just a month before the launchand gave him an ultimatum to redesign the calculator's interface in line with the iPad's larger display. But with the release just weeks away, Forstall and his team knew they wouldn't be able to design a new calculator interface from scratch, and the newly-launched iPad was shipped without a calculator app.

Unfortunately, this forced iPad users to download third-party calculator apps filled with ads, making for an awful user experience.

However, it's been more than 10 years with several new iPads being launched over the course of this period, but Apple is yet to include this basic feature in its range of computer tablets.

When asked about the same, Apple's Vice President of software engineering Craig Federighi told Youtuber Marques Brownlee that the company wants to make the "greatest iPad calculator app", adding that "we want to do it when we can do it really really well".

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first published:May 12, 2021, 14:25 IST
last updated:May 12, 2021, 14:25 IST