Home / iPad / After 14 years, iPad will finally get a built-in Calculator app, sources say

After 14 years, iPad will finally get a built-in Calculator app, sources say

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Apple’s Calculator app has been conspicuous by its absence on the iPad since the tablet’s launch 14 years ago. The curiosity surrounding why Apple hasn’t yet included Calculator in the iPad is now shifting to rumors that the native app finally will be included in iPadOS 18 later this year.

As Apple prepares to launch new iPad models in May, the company is also looking ahead to its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 10, where it will announce new iOS, iPadOS, visionOS, and macOS updates. According to MacRumors, the opening keynote on WWDC will also include the announcement of a built-in Calculator app for all iPad models compatible with iPadOS 18.

Also: Apple confirms next iPad event for May 7: Here’s what to expect

While we don’t have official word on why the iPad hasn’t had a built-in Calculator app all these years, speculation has attributed the reason to market positioning, encouraging third-party development, and — most credibly — design philosophy. A person claiming to be a former Apple employee told the story on Reddit eight years ago, attributing the lack of an iPad Calculator app to Steve Jobs:

“A month before the release, Steve Jobs calls Scott Forstall into his office and says to him, “Where is the new design for the Calculator? This looks awful.” He said, “What new design?” This is what we are shipping with. Steve said, “No, pull it we can’t ship that.” Scott fought for it to stay in, but he knew he had to get their UI team involved to design a new look for the Calculator but there was no way they could do it in that short time frame, so they just scrapped it.”

Because iPadOS is built on iOS, many of the original built-in apps were the same iOS version, just stretched to fit the larger screen. An eyesore of a Calculator app filling a tablet screen sounds like a plausible reason. The same user finished his story by explaining that the Calculator app has remained a low priority with Apple having more important things to work on.

Also: 7 iPad Pro features I want to see Apple announce during its May event

“We want to do it when we can do it really, really well. And we honestly just haven’t gotten around to doing it great,” Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, said in an interview after WWDC 2020 about an iPad built-in Calculator app. 

After 14 years, I’ll believe it when I see it. However, this rumor is definitely another thing to look forward to during WWDC. 


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