It seems that the iOS computer has a scientific way since 2008

Today I learned that the built-in computer application for the iPhone has a scientific way – and all you have to do to access it is turn your phone on its side. If you’re the type of person who keeps your phone permanently locked in your portrait (like me), this might come as a surprise to you, as it did for many of us here at The Verge.

This unlocks all sorts of features, such as adding numbers to memory, parentheses, exponents, and all those high school trig functions. The feature is not really new or hidden: it was introduced in iOS 2.0 in 2008 and there is even a screenshot of it in the App Store page for the computer application.

Screenshot of the App Store page for the Apple Calculator app

He was hiding from view.

To be fair, most people probably never see that App Store page because the app is pre-installed on every phone. It’s not the first app you’ve probably been looking for if you want to install a new computer – even with the hidden (ish) functionality, it’s still not great.

For starters, there’s no marking tape feature that lets you see all the operations you’ve just done, which is useful when you need to see if you’ve already added a value or not. It also makes some essential functions, such as parentheses – which I use in almost every mathematical equation I make – difficult to access.

Screenshot of a computer's checkbox function, which shows previous numbers and functions.

This is the ticker band function of PCalc, which is invaluable to me.

Fortunately, there are other options: PCalc offers a more robust computing experience and offers a free version of PCalc Lite that is also worth downloading. Or for more serious math, there’s the TI-30XS, which can make some things (like fractions) so light that you almost feel like you’re cheating.