Price: $ .99
CalcPad iPhone Video App Review
It’s not often in this business that we get to say an iPhone app is truly unique. However, this iPhone app review proves that CalcPad, by developer Chipotle Labs, is the rare exception. The iPhone app offers a service you may not have even known you needed, but one you’ll certainly find useful.
The idea behind CalcPad is both simple and tricky: Simple in the fact that it just works, but tricky in the fact that it’s a bit creative. The app is, first and foremost, a fully-functional calculator. When first booted, the user is presented with a number cruncher very similar to the stock iOS offering. Interestingly, there is no tilt for scientific mode, which though disappointing, is hardly a deal breaker. However, the real surprise of CalcPad comes with a quick two-finger scroll up from the bottom. After a quick flick, a feature-rich notepad is revealed, offering the user a multitude of ways to take notes, add photos to jottings, or even surf the web with a secure in-app browser. The intention here is, obviously, to keep your private notes secure: CalcPad is almost like a trapdoor for your iPhone, or a false bookcase.
The idea of securing notes behind a calculator is certainly a bit gimmicky, but it hardly harms the app. In fact, it rather makes CalcPad cooler. I felt a bit like a spy, flicking my way through a calculator to get at my secret notes. Certainly this isn’t a feature everyone needs—or even wants—but at the end of the day, CalcPad has created something new and totally fun, even if it is a Why-didn’t-I-think-of-that? kind of app.
The design of CalcPad draws a lot from both the stock iOS calculator and the Notepad app. However, this doesn’t detract from the app’s appeal, but rather makes it seem familiar. The calculator is simplistic and functional, and the notes system is positively excellent. Creating notes could not be simpler, and editing a created note was a snap. The in-app browser works very well, and though it’s certainly not a replacement for Safari, it’s good for jotting down a quick site or picture. The ability to add photos to notes is also a tremendous boon, though having photos saved solely in-app, rather than in the gallery, would be preferred.
Perhaps the biggest cloud over CalcPad’s parade is its pricing: $1.99 in the AppStore. However, this is a quality iPhone app with great presentation and an interesting idea behind it. Though expensive, it’s certainly worth a try, even if for the fun factor alone.
** Note: As of June 10th, 2011, the developer has lowered their price to $ .99 which we feel dramatically increases the overall value, and falls within the appropriate price range.
CalcPad requires iOS 4.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone app reviews rating: