Apple could finally be bringing its Calculator app to iPadOS 18 — what took it so long?

iPadOS 17 and Stage Manager being used outside, with dog in background
(Image credit: iMore)

Apple’s Calculator app could finally be appearing on iPadOS 18, after years of third-party alternatives taking its place.

According to MacRumors, iPadOS 18, the next major software update for compatible iPads, will feature the Calculator app which has been available on the iPhone since it debuted in 2007. The source didn’t reveal if there were going to be any new features for this version, but its appearance alone will make a lot of users very happy.

The lack of a Calculator app has been a bone of contention with users, with alternatives of PCalc and others taking Apple’s place. Posts on Reddit, X, and more have lamented the app’s absence since Apple’s tablet debuted in 2010. Even YouTuber MKBHD asked Craig Federighi, senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple, why the Calculator app hasn’t come to iPad yet. Soon though, it looks like prayers may finally be answered once iPadOS 18 is likely announced at the WWDC 2024 keynote on June 10.

The Calculator app has seen some improvements across the years, such as being able to swipe to delete a wrong number. Some of the app’s features are also rumored to be coming to the Notes app in macOS 15, iOS 18, and iPadOS 18, which could help with your weekly budget and more.

Along with iPadOS 18, Apple is also expected to announce some huge AI features for iOS 18 at WWDC, as well as new versions of macOS 15, watchOS 11, visionOS 2, and tvOS 18.

Apple, you’re too late for me — iMore’s take

PCalc on iPad

(Image credit: Future)

Although I’d be happy to see the Calculator app come to iPadOS, I’ve been using an alternative on my iPad for years. I see no reason to switch if it finally arrives.

Developer James Thomson has an app called PCalc, and I’ve been using this app for years. It’s available on Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple Vision Pro, and, yes, iPad, for $9.99 / £9.99 as a Universal app. You can customize the look and feel of the Calculator to whatever you like. You can also add plenty of widgets to your iPad’s home screen so you don’t need to launch the app if you want to do a quick sum.

Also, I won’t spoil it, but if you go to the app’s About screen, you’ll be greeted with a brilliantly engaging game.

I can’t see how Apple can improve upon its own Calculator app when it’s seen so few updates. The look and feel of the app have never drastically changed, and I’ve only used it when the iPhone’s spotlight feature would suggest the app.

Of course, it’s great that many users will likely be able to use Apple’s Calculator app on iPad soon. It would most probably be due to it being free and available to use on every tablet running iPadOS 18 automatically. Already, though, PCalc is a fantastic alternative in that you can use right now.

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Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.