iPadOS 18 could finally get the calculator app users have been clamoring for

The iPad mini 2021
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

If you've been a longtime iPad user, you've no doubt noticed that it's missing an essential app: a calculator. It seems like such a fundamental piece of any operating system, but Apple never made an official calculator app that leverages the extra screen size offered by the iPad. 

Thankfully, that looks to be changing. According to a report from MacRumors, which cites a source familiar with the matter, Apple is planning to bring a dedicated iPad calculator app to iPadOS 18. 

The new iPad app is expected to be revealed at Apple's annual WWDC developer conference on June 10. This means we won't have to wait long to see it in action and see if Apple got it right after all these years in the making.

Another report from AppleInsider indicates that Apple is planning a refresh of its Mac calculator app for the first time in a decade. It's possible that the two apps could be built upon each other. The timing certainly matches up well, and the fact that the Mac calculator is reported to have a resizable window with rounded buttons adds credence to that possibility.

If Apple does release an official iPad calculator app, it could end a long-running social media meme mocking the app's nonexistence. It could also hurt the many third-party iPad calculator apps, which have found a place thanks to Apple's lack of an official app. Of course, some users will be used to the additional apps and want to stick with them, but we expect many to flock to the app that comes natively with the OS. This could be especially true for new users who purchase 2024's iPad models.

In June 2020, an Apple engineer told popular tech YouTube personality Marques Brownlee that the company "hadn't gotten around" to releasing a calculator app. The engineer added, "That day may come." It appears that day may come indeed, and it may come in the relatively near future, as iPadOS 18 is expected to be released in September 2024 alongside iOS 18 for presumably the iPhone 16. We also expect the first beta of iPadOS 18 to launch immediately following Apple's WWDC keynote so that we could get our first taste of the calculator app even sooner.

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Dave LeClair
Senior News Editor

Dave LeClair is the Senior News Editor for Tom's Guide, keeping his finger on the pulse of all things technology. He loves taking the complicated happenings in the tech world and explaining why they matter. Whether Apple is announcing the next big thing in the mobile space or a small startup advancing generative AI, Dave will apply his experience to help you figure out what's happening and why it's relevant to your life.