Soulver for iPad: The Notepad I Wish I’d Had In Math Class

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I can’t believe I haven’t actually written about Soulver for iPad yet, seeing as I’ve been using it on a daily basis for the past four or five months. Soulver is a great little calculations notebook for the iPad. At first glance it can look like a plain text editor, but do not be fooled — it’s got delicious math geekiness embedded between its lines.

Soulver makes it easy to handle calculations like:

  • 5 + 5
  • 10 x 2
  • 30 * (550/132)

You enter the numbers on the left side, answers appear on the right.

You can also use more natural language to calculate solutions. So instead of calculating a tip by typing “85 x 1.15”, you can also type “15% of 85” to reach the same conclusion. Or you can use Soulver to convert things like “8 oz in lbs”.

My favourite use case harnesses Soulver’s ability to refer to previous calculations and use them as variables. For example, if the first row in Soulver is “47 x 13”, I could refer to its product (611) on any other line in any other equation I create. I can also name particular lines, so I can refer to Line 1 simply as “Warehouses”. From that point onwards, any time I type out “warehouses”, Soulver substitutes that word for the number 611.

If that sounds confusing, here’s what it looks like within the app:

I use Soulver as an everday calculator, but also as a daily budget calculator. I use Next to track everyday expenses, so that app provides me a total of how much I’ve spent this month. I then plug my regular bills and income as different lines into Soulver, which ultimately provides me with a snapshot of my current budget for the month.

Of course, there are many other ways you could take advantage of the app. That’s the really fantastic thing about Soulver, and why it feels like such an easy recommendation for anyone who regularly deals with numbers on a daily basis.

Here’s an App Store link for Soulver; it’s priced at $4.99 for the Universal app, and there’s also a Mac version available.

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