App Review: Numerical for iPhone

Numerical for iPhone

When I heard about [itunes link=”″ title=”Numerical” text=”Numerical”] from Andrew J. Clark, I was pretty skeptical. I mean, who really needs a calculator that isn’t the stock one?

I’m eating my words as I write this though, because I’m still using it. I think if you’re a fan of apps that delight with details, Numerical is a great choice.

First up, let’s state the obvious: it’s eye-catching. It sports a beautiful, chromeless design that looks great on any iPhone. Certainly, it takes cues from iOS 7 itself, but also I see a lot of neat touches (like the elegant & distinctive sound effects) that are reminiscent of apps like Tweetbot. The design also gives thoughtful functional cues too; for example, buttons that aren’t in use are ‘punched-out’ from the transparent overlay.

Andrew developed the app’s design in collaboration with Alex Vanderzon and he is doing some outstanding UI design work in tight constraints. Even the introductory screens are well thought-out.

I should also mention that Andrew’s been documenting the evolution of this app on his Twitter account for the last 4-6 months (he’s been learning iOS development), and I found that whole process fascinating. It’s an outstanding first app, and I’ll be keenly watching to see where Andrew takes his eye for detail from here.


On the feature side, also has just enough features to be more useful than the stock calculator app for me (the handy no-equals-button approach, the swift & playful swipe-to-delete, the handy list of previous calculations) without overwhelming with options. There’s lots of calculator competitors, but I’m not using bitwise operators or solving P=NP, so other options like [itunes link=”″ title=”PCalc” text=”PCCalc”] were definitely overkill, and I find [itunes link=”″ title=”Soulver” text=”Soulver”] to be a neat idea but not quite how my brain works.

Numerical strikes a nice balance that I found ideal for my needs.

All that aside though, can this replace the stock calculator? Well, it depends on how much you use Control Center on iOS. It’s an unfortunate truth that for quick calculations convenience is king, and having the stock calculator just a bottom-bezel swipe away is a tough proposition to beat. Let’s not beat around the bush with the price either; it is $2.99 in a crowded category. The iOS App Store chock-full of calculator apps, both free & paid.

You know what though? I really dug using Numerical, and it was that reason that kept me going back to it.

Numerical is $2.99, and is [itunes link=”″ title=”Numerical is $2.99, and is currently available for iPhone.” text=”currently available for iPhone”].