If you’re deep in the Apple ecosystem you’ve probably noticed that the iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac all have calculator apps But, the iPad doesn’t. This has left many people wondering why?
When the iPad was being created a guy named Scott Forstall was leading its software development. He was responsible for the skeuomorphic interface featured early on iOS, and the calculator app included with the iPad prototype was simply a scaled-up version of the iPhones. The software team assumed the final product would ship with this calculator, but once Steve Jobs saw it one month before the iPads release, he met with forestall right away. Saying, “where’s the new design for the calculator?” This looks awful. “what new design this is what we’re shipping with” Jobs said “no put it. we can’t ship that”
Although forestall tried to convince Jobs to keep the calculator on iPad, he was given an ultimatum: Redesigned the calculator’s user interface to make it look good on the iPads larger display, or it won’t be included. With the iPad released just weeks away, Forestall knew his team wouldn’t be able to create a new app from scratch, so the original iPad shift without a calculator. forcing users to download third party solutions from the App Store most of which had ads and provided a worse user experience than simply including a scaled-up version of the iPhone calculator it may seem odd for Jobs to have such strict standards for something as simple as a calculator app but this wasn’t out of the ordinary for him in fact that this wasn’t even his first calculator Fiasco.
Back in 1981 when Steve Jobs was leading development of the Macintosh he wasn’t satisfied with the initial design of the system calculator. He told Chris Espinosa, the Creator, well it’s a start but basically it’s stinks the background color is to dark, some lines of the wrong Fitness and the buttons are too big so Espinosa toll jobs he continued working on it until he was satisfied but every time he created a new iteration of the calculator Jobs would point out new things he didn’t like about it so Espinosa decided to let Jobs be the designer instead by creating a program that allowed every visual attribute of the calculator to be customized from line thickness to button size, Jobs sat down with the new program and spent 10 minutes adjusting its design until he was satisfied and that calculator ended up being used with the original Macintosh in 1984 until Mac OS 9 who’s the latest release it was in 2001 but what about today Steve Jobs doesn’t CEO of Apple anymore, but they still haven’t included a calculator on the iPad. well it just so happens that MKBHD or Marques Brownlee asked Craig Federighi about this in an interview. here’s what he said, “the iPad still does not have a default weather and calculator app and they want to know why”
“you know there’s some things that we have not done because to do it we would want to do something really distinctly great in that space and I think it’s obviously easy to create a calculator out but creating one that feels like wow this is the greatest iPad calculator out that it felt like I think we want to do it when we can do it really really well in and we we honestly have just haven’t gotten around to doing a great so that day that day may come.” said
So they won’t create an iPad calculator until it’s truly great which is essentially the same position Jobs took in 2010 the problem is they don’t even appear to be working on an iPad calculator, since they have over a decade to make it happen but we’ve seen Apple suffer from this sort of analysis paralysis before they didn’t include copy and paste in iOS until years after android wanted to make sure it was truly great and they didn’t include an Apple Library until iOS 14 something Android already had for a decade well it’s easy to become frustrated by his quirks and Apple’s philosophy it’s helpful to recognize that their restraint when adding new features probably helps more than it hurts it ensures they only add features that improves the user experience instead of making it messy complex or counterintuitive also apples proven that they respond to customer feedback in the same interview with MKBHD federighi talk about Siri and how it should behave after a voice command Marques Brownlee said it’s strange that Siri doesn’t dismiss itself after a few seconds of completing an inquiry, instead user for the Swipe back to their conten. later on iPadOS 14 was released, Apple quietly updated Siri to automatically disappear after about 5 seconds. Something thta makes the experience much more pleasant, especially when using hands-free voice commands. So based from Apple’s previous actions, we do expect to see a native iPad calculator app sooner or later.