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Apple's iPad calculator looks freaking awesome

Shubhangi Goel   

Apple's iPad calculator looks freaking awesome
  • Apple unveiled a new iPadOS 18 with Apple Intelligence at its Worldwide Developers Conference.
  • The update includes a long-awaited calculator app with Math Notes, a whiteboard-style tool.

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference was a big moment for the iPad, the company's less-loved flagship product.

Apple announced that future iPads would come with iPadOS 18, which means they would include Apple Intelligence, a redesigned Photo app, new notes features, and new messaging functions. The new OS 18 also brings a calculator app to the iPad for the first time.

The app looks a lot like the iconic orange-and-white calculator users have long seen on the iPhone. But it also comes with a new, iPad-only feature called Math Notes, in which users can write down math problems with the Apple Pencil, and the app will help solve them.

Based on Apple's demo, the app appears to come with some cool features.

According to the tech giant, users can use the whiteboard-like tool to solve algebraic equations, calculate a budget, and create graphs from text "with just one tap." Math Notes will automatically be accessible in the Notes app.

The app also has a history function to view past calculations and a feature that converts heights, weights, and currencies.

The launch not only brings a much-awaited calculator app to a bigger screen but also improves it, which may make the iPad popular with students and people who work in finance.

But it's unclear if the new OS 18 features will boost sales for the tablet, which can cost up to $3,000. iPads made up only 6% of Apple's total sales, according to the company's last earnings report in May, while the iPhone made up more than half of sales.

The features may also do little to calm critics who say that Apple is playing catch-up with other Big Tech companies when it comes to AI. Apple's calculator seems less impressive than OpenAI's GPT-4o, which can look at a math problem and talk the user through the solution step by step.

But the overall conference and other releases, including Apple Intelligence, impressed analysts.

Apple "did exactly what they needed to do, which is show the world that they mean business when it comes to AI," Gene Munster, a managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management, said.

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