Apr 12 AT 2:28 AM Guest Blogger 25 Comments

handyCalc: More calculator than you can handle


There are a lot of calculator apps in the Android Marketplace and a lot of them are pretty good, but while most are specialized tip calculators, handyCalc comes to the table with pretty much everything under the sun.

Right off the bat, handyCalc scores points for offering a tutorial when you first run the application. This demo walks you through some of the UI gestures, solving expressions and using trigonometric and other advanced functions. You find out that it can solve linear and non-linear equations, draw graphs of functions and even let you define your own functions to use in advanced calculations.

As a bonus handyCalc also acts as an almost universal converter (currency, measurement units, etc). It can subtract dates to find the number of days between them and help with statistical calculation by automatically suggesting the average of a sum. It even allows saving your work to a file for later use.

The good:

  • Very sleek user interface
  • Full featured scientific calculator
  • Can solve fractions as integer or decimal and trigonometric problems as degree or radian
  • Draws the graph of any function
  • Supports saving and loading files
  • Free in the Android Marketplace

Improvements I would like to see:

  • There’s a glitch when writing extremely long fractions (they go off screen) that I hope gets fixed before my next math exam

The Bottom Line

handyCalc is indeed very handy and I’d recommend it to anyone in need of a scientific calculator that does most of the job for you.

Note: This review was submitted by Alexandru-Ioan Dobrinescu as part of our app review contest.

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  • http://Website cece

    Not so “scientific” :
    = 8.326673E-17

    (same ugly bug as stock android calculator based on light javaME lib)

    It does not even calculate in Decimal numbers. (uses double types) -> unprecise, so unreliable.

    Come on… there is enough calculating power in our phones to do simple decimal calculations !!!

    • http://Website Alex

      Unfortunately, this problem is caused (as far as I’m able to make out) by the java libraries that most apps use.

      It would be amazing if the author decided to rewrite this using the NDK and, even better, publish his own math libraries. For my money though, this is still one of the best calculator apps available.

      If you have any suggestions for better alternatives to this and the stock android app, please post them and I’ll check them out.

    • http://Website Derek

      Hmmmm, when I do 1.1-1-0.1 on my iPhone I get 0.

      No wonder why iPhone is better than Android.

      • http://Website Mana

        And when you do multi-tasking, what do you get?

        • http://Website Anthony


          • http://wigedev.com William

            This is because the calculator is in scientific mode, unlike the iPhone calculator which is presumably operating in standard precision mode. If you go to Menu > Preferences > Number Format and select a precision without scientific notation, 1.1-1-0.1 will resolve to 0.

  • http://Website @dariFRESH

    You guys should try out Arity calculator. I personally find it to be amazing

  • http://Website sin
  • http://Website Jason

    So what would you say as having this be a competitor to a ti83+ or similar?

    • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

      kinda makes me wonder why no big name calculator brand has released a solid app. seems like they could save students a good bit of money by cutting out the separate piece of hardware…

      • http://Website Alex

        I’m thinking saving us money isn’t really their primary concern :))

  • http://Website Nu11u5

    As a fan of RPN I’m glad to find an emulator for the classic HP48 on the market. But I use a calculator so rarely I don’t mind taking the time to pull out the real 30 year old beasty when I need one.

    For students I’m assuming that PDA calculators are still a problem for tests. It was enough that 10 years ago some calcs had serial and IR ports on them. Now you’ve got the Internet, IMs, everything, that can be accessed in the background – not good for scholarly ethics.

  • http://Website anon
    • http://Website Alex

      I haven’t played around with RealCalc as much, but to me it’ s more of a traditional scientific calculator. As the name says, it focuses on giving you the experience of having a real calculator while handyCalc offers features not traditionally found on most calculators (solving expressions and drawing graphs for example).

      On the other hand, having less features can also be a good thing, and RealCalc is easier to pick up.

      In the end, the beauty of Android is that it’s all about choice, and since both apps are free you can test both and settle on the one you’re most comfortable with.

  • http://Website Utz

    Well, that’s true.

    I’am not allowed to use my phone as translator or calculator during tests ^^

    But I am allowed to use:

    electronic Dictionary
    non graphical calculator

    But the fact is:

    I only carry those two things around in school (mostly even only for tests) but my phone is always with me in reald world situations. weird. but that’s the way it is^^

  • http://Website lamanary

    doesn’t auto-rotate

    • http://Website Squeezy Bottle

      That requires a helicopter.

      • rdid

        Helicopter engine not required.

  • http://Website HamBid

    This is an excellent math calcualtor for doing quick engineering calculations. I like it a lot. When working on a document you can clear entered formulas, but I can’t find any way to clear results from the pages.

  • http://Website Dom

    Yes I found this too but if you want to get rid of all your results then just go to the menu > documents > new and it will clear all of your entries. Quite nice that you can save all of your workings for a later date or to show someone else.

  • http://Website Paul Mac

    How do you add currencies to the Currency Converter. When I first opened that part of the app, there were at least 40 different currencies. Since they hadn’t been updated in over a year, I selected Update. When updating had finished, only about 15 major currencies are now visible. I live in Malaysia and would like to have Malaysian Ringget visible. How do I had it?

  • http://Website Hamed


  • http://www.onlinescientificcalculator.org/ Ernie

    Online calculators are more convenient than lugging around a big electronic calculator.

  • EmEmm

    How do u do 3+(10×2) = 23 in handyCalc?

  • se.solovyev

    It seems that there is even better calculator on android.market which has more functions and has more user-friendly interface: https://market.android.com/details?id=org.solovyev.android.calculator.