Add user-defined constants with PCalc RPN Calculator for iPhone and iPad

PCalc RPN Calculator for iPhone and iPad is one of the original non-Apple calculators to hit the App Store and continues to be one of the leading calculators on the market. It was recently updated to introduce a huge user-requested feature -- the ability to add and edit your own constants. Even more, your custom constants will automatically sync to all your devices running PCalc with iCloud.

User constraints

To create a constant, tap the button that has 42 (this is the constants button). From here, you'll see a list of categories of popularly used constants in various scientific fields. In the upper left, tap the Edit button. PCalc comes with a category called "User" that you can add to, or you can create your own categories. Once you select a category, tap the plus sign to enter your constant. You can give it a name, value, and unit.

Some of the other new features include the addition of all the functions from the Mac version of PCalc, including complex numbers and financial categories. To access them, just tap the f(x) button. To make room for this new button, you must now tap the C button to access the AC button on the iPhone. You can also show up to eight lines of display, pick a specific memory if multiple memories are enabled, and the currency conversion section is more intuitive.

There are two versions of PCalc RPN Calculator available in the App Store: free and premium. The premium version is $9.99 and includes all the features of the free version that can be purchased as in-app purchases. The available packs in the free version include Conversion, Multiple Line, Power User, Engineer, Theme, and Programmer. These in-app purchases range from $0.99 to $2.99.

The good

  • RPN mode optional
  • Looks good
  • Custom constants that sync between devices with iCloud
  • List of commonly used functions
  • Up to 8 lines of display
  • Paper tape
  • Gestures
  • Universal for iPhone and iPad

The bad

  • You can only access the Edit screen for constants when in the first main screen for constants. Several times I have wanted to tap the category that I want to add a constant to before editing, but you can't, even when in a user-created category. You must go back to the category list, tap edit, then select the category.

The bottom line

PCalc is a great calculator that just keeps getting better. My favorite new feature is the ability to add custom constants as this will be a awesome for students and professionals alike. Although PCalc is technically an RPN calculator, I view it more as a regular scientific calculator that has the option to go RPN. I actually wish the "RPN" would be removed from the name, because when I first read it was an RPN calculator, I was turned off because I hate RPN calculators. It turns out that RPN isn't set as the default and needs to be toggled on if you prefer. So if you're like me, don't be scared off by RPN!

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Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.