We live in a global economy. We trade in encrypted currencies. We live in bytes. Online, we are one. Before this turns into a Fight Club sequel, let me dial down.
The online world is great, but the problem is that rest of the world has not been able to progress at the same rate as we have in the last two decades. The barriers between countries, culture, languages, units etc still stand. And dealing with them is more annoying than ever. My dad knows how to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius off the top of his head. I on the other hand ask Google or Siri or even Cortana to do that for me. Good thing, though, is that he doesn’t know how to write CSS, so it’s not a major blow to my ego.
The fact remains, as much as we love the idea of net neutrality, openness and equality, it’s just not true. Take any measure you want, the “one true unit” to “rule them all” just doesn’t exist.
So we need to use Google and Siri to do the hard work for us.
If you use an Android phone, there’s a better, more powerful, and far easier way to do it. And all it takes is one app.
Convert Everything for Android
I thought the name of this app was a bit over the top at first. Convert Everything? Really?
But after testing it out, I’m convinced.
It’s a simple app with basically every unit of conversion you can think of. It has the usual suspects like time, time zones, date difference, length, temperature etc. But as you keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling, you find things you never heard of. Some of them are amazingly useful and some you don’t even know what to do with.
Let’s get comfortable with the app. It’s a simple app with three panes – Convert, Favorites and Categories. Convert gives you the long list of things you can convert. Favorites list the units you have starred (you’ll really need to use that) and the Categories tab, well, shows you the categories.
There’s the ever useful search function at the top and the ability to switch between a light and a dark theme. The app will also show you a history of all your conversions with the results. As I said, a pretty powerful app.
Tap on a unit you want to convert. Usually you’ll have to input the base unit yourself or select one from a drop down menu. If it’s something simple like Temperature, there’s only one unit to figure out. But there can be many more if you picked something complicated like Acceleration – Linear.
Input the data and scroll down till you see a big box that reads Click To Continue. Click on it to see the results. You can change the numbers to update the result on the fly or use the refresh button up top. The star button next to it will add the conversion units to your favorites pane.
By far, the best thing about this app is that it doesn’t just show you the conversion for one unit. No, it shows you the conversion for all the listed units. So if you go into Length/Distance input the quantity to convert, select the base unit but leave the Convert to unit and All available units, the app will show you the converted quantity in every available unit in the app.
Lots Of Crazy Things
As I said, Convert Everything lets you convert things you never even thought you could in an app. One of the pleasant surprises was the CSS option. Dealing with font heights in CSS is a mess. This way you can enter a font height in pixels and have it converted in ems, picas, points and a lot more in seconds.
There are of course many more things in the Convert Everything app. Things I’m not smart enough to use properly. But if you come from an engineering background or work in the field of science, Convert Everything might just take up space on your dock.