When you’re a stranger in a strange land, your smartphone can be the most useful thing you carry, next to your physical wallet maybe. It can help you navigate, stay in touch with friends and family in distant lands, and more.
Calculations 4.0 Pro comes under the “and more” heading: It is an all-in-one app that includes a calculator, a measurement converter, a currency converter, a mortgage calculator (what?), and a tipping calculator. In short, Calculations 4.0 has the potential of being your go-to app when it comes to numbers, especially when you’re abroad.
It Is Not Perfect, And It’s Not Free, Either
This is the first thing you should know: Calculations 4.0 costs money – one dollar, as of this writing. There’s also a free version, but I felt the app is useful enough to justify spending a single dollar. Now, about perfection: I have yet to review the perfect app or game, and Calculations 4.0 does have disadvantages, especially in the data entry department. We’ll get to those in a moment.
Despite its very ICS look-and-feel, Calculations works with Android 2.1 and above. Still, it’s nice to see it blend in so well with my Android 4.0 phone. Above you can see the calculator; this is probably not the most exciting screenshot you will see today, but it does pack a nice little UI innovation: The advanced scientific functions are all bundled up in a sliding menu, saving valuable pixels and allowing for large, comfortable buttons.
Measurement conversions are where Calculations really starts to shine. Sure, you can always Google “193 cm in inches,” but that takes time. The measurement conversion here is instant, and the results show many units of measurements at the same time, which is nice. Despite this wealth of units of measurements, I was missing a simple height conversion: What’s 193 centimeters in feet and inches?
Also, it doesn’t include shoe size conversions, but then again, sizes tend to vary between manufacturers, and most shoes have US/EU/UK measurements written on them anyway. It does have a very handy temperature converter, which is great for figuring out the weather when you’re away from home.
Again, something Calculations 4.0 does better than Google: You can set a number of output currencies, and results are instant – much faster than Googling “15 USD in Kuwaiti Dinar.” But this is one screen that needs work in terms of UI: I will never use the entire screen space (who needs six output currencies?), so there should at least be a small keypad here.
This is a classic example of feature bloat. Honestly: Who needs temperature conversions along with mortgage calculations? I have no idea why this feature was included. It’s not like everyone needs to do mortgage calculations every two days. In my humble opinion, Calculations 4.0 would be much better off without this feature, which perhaps could be spun off into its own app. After all, people who need to do lots of mortgage calculations on a routine basis can probably afford another app, and the rest of us would get a leaner version of Calculations.
And we’re back to the brilliant features: The tipping calculator is absolutely top-notch. You can enter the bill total and number of people, the tax rate, and use the slider to determine tipping percentage. You then get exactly how much tip each person should leave, and can round the numbers off.
While this part of Calculations 4.0 is very good indeed, it is still not perfect: I wish there was a way to save the tax percentage (you don’t move between countries every day, do you?) and the tip percentage (again, local custom), and that there was an easier way to enter the bill total. Perhaps the slider could be dedicated to that, rather than the tipping percentage.
Despite its minor UI annoyances, Calculations 4.0 Pro is an excellent Android app, especially if you plan going abroad sometime soon. Do you have another must-have unit converter for when you’re abroad? Seriously, I’m not just asking: I plan to go abroad in the next few months, and am looking for a great one. I like this one, but if you can show me something better, I’d love to take a look.