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Apple rumored to revamp the Mac’s Calculator app with macOS 15

2024 April 22
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A new report claims Apple will revamp the Mac’s Calculator app to resemble the iPhone version, adding new features whilst improving unit conversion.

Calculator app on macOS Sonoma, set against an orange gradient background

It will be the most significant update to the macOS Calculator app in years, says AppleInsider, which received details of the revamped app in macOS 15 whose interface apparently resembles the iPhone’s Calculator in iOS 17.

One change apparently brings a freely resizable window with the controls that dynamically change their size. The buttons are said to adopt a pill shape when you enlarge the window, switching to circular versions on smaller window sizes.

An enhanced unit conversion system

For one, I would much prefer a Calculator app with a resizable window over a fixed window size in the current version of the software! The redesigned app should receive “a new history tape in the form of a sidebar that displays an overview of earlier calculations,” reports Marko Zivkovic for AppleInsider.

The addition of the history tape will make accessing and using previous calculations significantly easier. Rather than relying on a separate application to store numbers or amounts, users will be able to stay within the macOS Calculator app and keep track of their recent calculations more efficiently.

Zivkovic seems unaware that Calculator has had a history tape for many years because he’s presenting this as a new feature. In the current version of the app, history tape is in its own separate window instead of a dedicated sidebar.
Simply choose Window> Show Paper Tape to review what you entered.

AppleInsider has also learned that, within the app, the history tape could be accessed via a dedicated button at the top left of the application window. The button would give users the option to toggle the history tape from all three calculator views-basic, scientific and programmer.

For what it’s worth, history tape in the current version is missing from the programmer view.

An improved unit conversion system

The existing Calculator app has also supported unit conversions via the Convert menu. macOS 15’s Calculator should ditch this system for more straightforward unit conversion in the main window. This will let you perform unit conversions and mathematical operations simultaneously without switching views.

“Once the selected calculation is complete, the result is instantly converted into the selected unit and displayed below the result in its original unit,” reads the article.

“Engineers or scientists dealing with reports from other regions would be able to convert values into their preferred units of measurement with ease,” it continues.
Calculator app on macOS Sonoma performing USD to EUR currency conversions, set against an orange gradient background People familiar with the app told Zivkovic that currency conversion relies on online connectivity to “obtain current exchange rates from a trusted third party.”

Somebody please tell Zivkovic that the current version of Calculator also relies on internet connectivity for currency conversion. Also, people familiar with the matter told me Apple’s “trusted third party” for currency exchange rates is Yahoo.

Math Notes and Calculator

AppleInsider reported earlier iOS 18 might bring proper mathematical notation to the Notes app, dubbed Math Notes. This feature is said to let you quickly open your math notes from the revamped Calculator app via a dedicated option or button.

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