Soulver for iOS Review: Visual Calculation is a Thing

Khamosh Pathak

I come from an Accounting background. I did my Bachelor’s in Commerce. I currently write about technology on the web. Yet somehow, I suck at math.

Fortunately, calculators are always there to help you. But here’s the thing – you need to tell this to the education system. Just handing out calculators doesn’t help. You need to teach people how to use them.

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In school, complicated problems were first mapped out on paper, the problem was converted from text to numbers, then the calculator was brought in. This conversion part, the laying it all out in a logical manner, doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves.

Related: Check out these brilliant calculator tips for your Mac.

The app we’re going to talk about today offers you the same visual midpoint between the problem and the solution. And the best part is, it’s a calculator, so when you’re done mapping it out, the answer will be ready for you.

Let’s check it out.

What is Soulver?

So Soulver for iPhone and iPad is a visual calculator app (there’s also a Mac app for $11.99). It has a text and numeric keypad. You can type in things like 40 hours in minutes and it will do the conversion. You can do the same for multiplication, addition, the whole lot. And for you science people, there’s a special keyboard with cos and sin stuff as well.

Putting a bit of soul into math.

Soulver Soulver

Another cool thing about Soulver is that it lets you define variables. So if you use one number frequently, you can turn it into a variable.

Describing the Problem

Simple arithmetic can be done with any old calculator app. It’s the complicated math that’s going to be easier with Soulver. Soulver takes a line based approach. You can do a series of calculations and then recall a previous calculation just by typing lineX.

As I said before, the best way to use Soulver is to pen down the complex problem in simple language. What if you went to a restaurant, had a bill of $330, and you want to add 14% tip and split it between 5 friends? If you don’t know how to calculate odd percentages, this can be a problem.

In Soulver, write $330 + 14%, tap enter and then divide it by 5. And you get to know what everyone owes.

SoulverSoulver

You can do more complex calculations such as how much you’ll make after investing a certain amount at a certain interest rate. You can even calculate your wage or savings rate on monthly or weekly basis and a lot more.

Soulver

Pros

  • Simple design
  • Easy to swipe between keyboards
  • Syntax highlighting

Cons

  • Even though the app supports natural language, it’s pretty limited. For example you can use the by operator for multiplication but not into for division.
  • The app on-boarding experience could be better. A tutorial on how to use the app would go a long way.

How Do You Solve?

What’s your favorite calculator app? Let us know in the comments below.

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#ipad #iphone

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