The easiest way to calculate.
As wonderful as the digital world is, sometimes it’s nice to get back to the tactile nature of things. I try to write out things by hand during the day for two reasons. First, I tend to commit things to memory better when I write it out and second, it keeps my handwriting skills intact. I feel that if you don’t write things by hand, it’s a skill that slowly deteriorates. With that in mind, I also try to meld the digital and tactile world together by seeking out apps that will allow me to exercise my handwriting skills while keeping them in a digital format. In my search for these types of mobile apps, I found Calculator 2 from MyScript. It’s a calculator that allows input by handwriting on the screen. Calculator 2 is currently on version 2.0.4 as of February 19, 2018, with version 2.0 being launched on January 4, 2018.
Calculator 2 turns your device into an interactive piece of paper. I will typically try to reword the description of an app from the developer, but when it’s that accurate, I just decided to share it with you, dear reader. In plain terms, the app gives you a blank screen. When you write on it with your finger or stylus, the app will translate your scribbles into digital text and complete the calculation. The results appear in real time and the app will interpret everything you do on the fly. Calculator 2 is based on MyScript’s Interactive Ink.
- Write and Calculate: This is the main function of Calculator 2. You simply write any math problem on the screen as you would on paper. The app will automatically calculate the result. You have the ability to write out several calculations on separate lines on the screen or lengthy calculations on separate lines.
- Automatic vs. On Demand: You have the option to use automatic conversion or take your time and get a calculation on demand.
- History: Calculator 2 offers users a history list so that you can reuse equations multiple times. You can drag and drop numbers to and from the memory bar.
- Edit Calculations: You have the ability to interact live with your calculations. You can add new elements or erase pieces that you no longer want figured in.
- Export: You can export a calculation as an image, copy a number as text or drag and drop any number to an external app.
- Solve: This is an interesting option when you are working on unknown equations. You can use “?” as a variable to get the app to solve it. For example — 2 + ? = 5
Calculator 2 is very, VERY easy to use. Right from installation, all you have to do is write in the numbers you want to have calculated and the app does all the work. You can see from the image above that the app will even figure complex equations based off of the supported operators list. In my testing, I mainly worked with simple equations, but I did try out the question mark trick to make the app solve for an unknown and I integrated some square root functions, too.
For the most part, Calculator 2 had no issues with recognizing my scribbles although there were a few times that it read ’22’ as 2 squared. I am not sure if that was because I was writing at an angle or some other reason, but I would say that the app was about 90% accurate when it came to interpretation. I did write with both my finger and a stylus and I actually thought that my finger worked better. Here is a short video demo of how Calculator 2 works in real time. In this example, I’m using a stylus to write out my figures. There are a few times that the app misinterprets what I’m writing, but for the most part, it is correct. I would also like to point out in this video demo that there is a slight jitter when the app converts your handwriting into text type. You don’t see that in the app.
I think Calculator 2 is a nice compromise between figuring an equation by hand and a calculator. It’s a very useful tool when you are in a hurry because you can quickly scribble out what you need to have figured and you don’t have to worry about a missed keystroke on a calculator keypad. The price of the app may be a bit on the high side, but when something like this works as well as it does, I don’t mind paying a one-time fee.
DOWNLOAD – MyScript Calculator – $2.99