9 Awesome Calculator and Converter Apps for Mac

Your Mac already comes loaded with three functional calculators: the actual application “Calculator”, the Dashboard calculator and the Spotlight calculator (try typing an mathematical operation into Spotlight to see what I mean). However, all three of these lack certain advanced functionality that you may need.

In this roundup we’ll go through some of the best third party widgets and applications that give you greater calculation power on your Mac, as well as a handful that are great for converting all manner of different values.

Calculator Apps

Soulver

Soulver

Soulver

While the most expensive option, Soulver is definitely one of the most solid alternatives in this field. Not only is the interface simple and pretty, it’s also very functional. It doesn’t have a keyboard layout, instead you type your operations into one of the columns and your result will be displayed in the next column.

This way you can have different operations divided into lines so that you can use the older ones later. It has support for variables, currencies and stocks, while also adding some useful features like displaying your answers in a “big mode”, or degrees, hexadecimal and binary.

Price: $24.95
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Acqualia Software

PCalc

PCalc

PCalc 3

PCalc has been around for a very long time, and now it even has an iOS app. Think of it as a more professional, jacked up version of the calculator that came with your Mac.

Some of the extra features include support for Hexadecimal, Octal, RPN and Binary modes, conversions, a log of all your operations that you can save, styles, and even an included simpler Widget version of PCalc for your Dashboard.

Price: Shareware ($19)
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: TLA Systems

Calcline

Calcline

Calcline

Calcline’s layout is close in resemblance to Soulver’s, though not quite as well polished. It has a variable system where you can set values for variables to use in your operations. It also doesn’t have a keyboard layout, and you have to type your operations in a text box where a pull-down log below will break them down into steps for you.

It also has some pull-down menus where you can choose functions that are hard to perform with your keyboard, like square roots and trigonometric functions. It’s definitely a solid, cheaper alternative to Soulver.

Price: $20
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Tension Software

Advanced Scientific Calculator

Advanced Scientific Calculator

Advanced Scientific Calculator

This app works in your Dashboard, but don’t panic, it’s actually very complete for a widget (and also very big). It has almost all the functions that your Mac Calculator does, and it also adds a log of your operations, RPN support and styles.

It even doubles as a very complete unit converter! It’s expensive, but if you’re looking for a widget calculator, this is the most complete one.

Price: $14.95
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: eCalc

Mini Scientific Calculator

Mini Scientific Calculator

Mini Scientific Calculator

This is a much smaller, cheaper, simpler and less complete version of Advanced Scientific Calculator. It actually looks a lot like the Dashboard Calculator that comes with your Mac, but it has some more buttons and features that make it a scientific calculator. It lacks some features like a unit converter and a log, but for its price, it does plenty.

Price: $5
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: BlastOff Software

Currency and Unit Converters

Currency Converter

Currency Converter

Currency Converter

Currency Converter is a little Dashboard widget that makes this task very fast and simple. It sports four little text boxes where you can choose the currencies you’d like the widget to display. When you write inside a textbox it automatically updates the others with the corresponding data.

It has a very wide selection of currencies and it makes it very easy to update the exchange rates. It supports styles and has a useful set of options.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: Paolo Grifantini

iConvert

iConvert

iConvert

iConvert is a free widget that allows you to convert pretty much any unit you could think of. It works through a system of categories – you choose one first (length, temperature, volume, etc.) and then it’ll display two textboxes with the units available (milimeters, grams, seconds, etc.). You type one in and it’ll update the other automatically. Simple and fast.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: Craig Walton

qwikCONVERT

qwikCONVERT

qwikCONVERT

qwikCONVERT does what its name says: convert quickly. It works a little differently to the other converters, and I like it. It is also a widget, but instead of giving you two textboxes where you choose the units, here you only need to type the number and the unit (4 mm, 5 gr) and it’ll give you a list of conversions to the most popular units.

You can’t really choose the currency it displays things in, so if you are looking for some obscure unit most likely it won’t display it for you.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: Ben Robinson

Unit Converter Pro

Unit Converter Pro

Unit Converter Pro

Unit Converter Pro is a bit of an unconventional widget (for me, at least). It works like most unit converters, but instead of having just two textboxes where you choose your units, you have to choose a category first and then it’ll display about a dozen textboxes with most units available for that category.

It’s definitely a different take on unit converters, and it has plenty of categories so I guess it could be useful for some people.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: M.Ohmori

Conclusion

As good as the calculators that come included with your Mac are, eventually you’ll find something that they can’t do. Hopefully the alternatives offered today will help you when that time comes around.

Perhaps you wanted something that simply offered a few more functions. Or something completely different and revolutionary like Soulver.

Whatever functionality you were looking for in a calculator or converter app, we hope you found some of our suggestions useful. If you feel that we left something out, feel free to share it in the comments!


  • http://designlovr.com ximi

    I’m using the currency converter widget and it’s great. I work with many international clients and is important that I can easily convert estimates and prices into several currencies.

    Definitely recommend it

  • http://fairheadcreative.com Adam Fairhead

    Interesting to see; not come across any of these before.

    I normally just use the Spotlight window in the corner for any calculations. Thanks for the roundup of alternatives!

  • http://id.linkedin.com/in/rizky Rizky Syazuli

    i don’t need an advanced calculator, but for converting units i use Google :P

    it’s a cool feature from google that many people still don’t know about. try entering these in the google search box:

    “20 USD to IDR” or “15 inch to centimeters”

    cool eh? go here for more details:
    http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/features.html#calculator

  • http://designedbygold.com Jonathan Gold

    Soulver is absolutely brilliant; a refreshing, new take on what a calculator should be rather than just copying an outdated interface.

    Haven’t tried it on iPad yet and it’s a little janky (but very convenient on iPhone); highly recommend it on Mac though.

  • http://globalconfig.net Brandon Carroll

    I like the Magic Number Machine. Solid and Free!

  • Daniel Hertlein

    Agree with Jonathan about Soulver. The ability to type line by line descriptive notes without affecting the calculations and then save as a document makes it much more than a brilliant interface. I wish they carried over the notes ability to the iPhpne app, but it’s a very good app on it’s own merits. Easily worth $25.

  • http://log.tuananh.ws Tuan Anh Tran

    Soulver, both on Mac and on iPhone

  • http://meerzdaily.blogspot.com Meerz

    I use Currency Converter’s widget. It’s the best!

  • http://twitter.com/chairmanbrando Brando

    You don’t need to pay for (or download) a calculator.

    * Spotlight will do basic maths.
    * The calculator that comes with OSX is pretty decent.
    * Google will do maths and unit conversions (even money, and you’re guaranteed it’ll be up-to-date).
    * Wolfram Alpha will do anything else.

  • Phillip Jacobs

    I love soulver but ther is one app that is just as good and does a whole lot more. That is WolframAlpha. I use them both all the time. And WolframAlpha can convert units (and just about anything else you can dream up) as well.

  • Aurelia Moore

    Personally, I use SpeedCrunch. It has everything I need (history, variables) conveniently located, and is free (and multiplatform)
    .

  • misiek3d

    SpeedCrunch is very good and free. It have history of operations, a lot of functions, constants and my own variables.

  • http://www.martinvaresio.com.ar Martin Varesio

    I think the standard blue text color with or without an underline is the best.!!

  • Script Depot

    I have a free unit converter on my blog:

    http://scriptdepot.blogspot.com/2011/05/free-app-unit-converter.html

    I created it because I wanted one that was simple and would convert between inches and points- that is useful in graphic arts and illustration.

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

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

  • Nina Starikova

    You forget about Numi!
    http://getnumi.info/

  • George Birbilis

    I definitely can’t understand why they all are awesome. There are two calculator I use: Soulver & Numi.

  • http://howmuchdopsychologistsmake.com How much do psychologists make

    The PCalc 3 is really a nice alternative to the standard

  • http://lassebunk.dk Lasse Bunk

    Thanks! PCalc was just what I was looking for! :-)

    /Lasse Bunk

  • http://www.un1ts.com Un1ts

    Don’t forget to try out Un1ts for the Mac. A comprehensive unit converter that automatically converts as you type. Place your favorite units in the toolbar for quick and easy access. Full support for Retina displays.

  • http://twitter.com/blackliteon Dmitry Nikolaev

    This post was written several years ago and don’t includes Numi (http://getnumi.info)

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