The Best Calculator App for a Mac – Our Top 7 Picks

best calculator app with papers and pen

The native iPhone calculator app works well for most purposes. Compared to many other standard calculators, the ones that are native to the Mac OS X ecosystem are top-notch. The Calculator app that comes included in a Mac might be the best calculator app that you can possibly find.

Still, the Mac OS X calculator app can only do so much. If you’ve taken high school geometry and Algebra II, you know that a basic calculator doesn’t always cut it. Sometimes, you need more advanced features. Simple multiplication, division, subtraction, and addition can only take you so far.

What about complex statistical computations like linear regression? Or maybe you need to create charts, graphs, and plot data points. Good luck accomplishing those kinds of calculations with the native Mac OS X Calculator app!

Obviously, something more will be needed for those of us who need to take large amounts of numerical data and do spectacular things with them. Different calculator apps will wind up being better for different situations. Fortunately, the Mac App Store is not short on options for calculator apps.

How We Chose Our Ratings for The Best Calculator App

Accuracy and honesty are important to us. That’s why we look at customer reviews and testimonials, examine the reputation of each brand for each product, look at relevant data, and factor all variables into our evaluation. In the case of the best calculator app, we looked into the capabilities of each app and how they might best serve the mathematical-minded among us.

Here we’ve created a list of what we believe to be the best calculator app for Mac.

Quick Comparison Table: The Best Calculator App for a Mac – Our Top 7 Picks

Calculator App

Our Rating

Details

 Always On Top

one of the best calculator app always on top calculator

Numi

best calculator app featuring Numi as a menu-bar calculator supports text input

PCalc

best calculator app featuring pcalc as a a universal binary that works on the iPad as well as the iPhone

Magic Number Machine

best calculator app featuring Magic Number Machine that is Good if you need to enter large expressions or have extended precision

Maple

best calculator app for mac maple is testing math writing

Mathematica

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The Plot

best calculator apps for mac plot 2

Full Review: The Best Calculator App for a Mac – Our Top 7 Picks

The top 7 best calculator apps for Mac include Always on Top, Numi, PCalc, Magic Number Machine, Maple, Mathematica, and Plot. Each of these brings with it a unique set of capabilities and user interfaces.

Our ratings are based on user reviews and comprehensive analysis of available information.

Always On Top

one of the best calculator app always on top calculator

One of the most annoying things when multitasking within Mac OS X is that you have to constantly switch between the Calculator and the other applications you’re working with.

As of version 2.7.1 of Always on Top, the app continues running even when the window is closed. So, if you need to use the calculator app and then close it while you do something else, you can reopen the calculator without relaunching the whole application.

Pros

  • continues to run in the background
  • allow you to work on other programs while the calculator is on top

Cons

  • no advanced function just a basic calculator

Quality

Price

​Rating

​$$

 Numi

best calculator app featuring Numi as a menu-bar calculator supports text input

Numi is a calculator app that is capable of dealing with multiple tasks at the same time while also giving you the kind of response you expect. It has recently enhanced its dialect preparing and can deal with many different transformations and counts that it previously wasn’t able to.

Data tasks, numerical capacities, unit changes, and money transformations are just the beginning. Numi understands all of them and can crunch them with ease. You can even feed Numi things like chargers or unique factors such as the retail cost of an item. The app can even compute CSS units.

Numi is easy to launch and use once you’ve installed it. It can be opened from the Notification Center, a global hotkey you set yourself, or a Dock icon at the bottom of your screen.

This is one of our top picks for best calculator app because it has day and night modes for those who prefer a little variety. If your eyes are sensitive to bright colors, the nighttime mode can be a lifesaver. Those of us who work long hours on our devices will very much appreciate this feature.

Additional Functions

Numi supports a few extra functions in addition to the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Percentages, roots, and unit conversions can also be accomplished with Numi. Units like time, temperature, area, length, currency, and data size can all be converted to one another with ease. You can also define specific variables and have them saved in the app’s memory for later calculations.

In our opinion, what makes Numi the best calculator app is the simplicity of it all. It also has the unique feature of letting you calculate things by using different kinds of commands, i.e. writing out “4 plus 10” or using the standard “4 + 10.”

Pros

  • allow you to do multiple task at the same time
  • allows you to use different kinds of commands

Cons

  • the app looks like a text editor than a traditional calculator

Quality

Price

​Rating

​$$

 PCalc

best calculator app featuring pcalc as a a universal binary that works on the iPad as well as the iPhone

PCalc is a comprehensive logical and developer number-cruncher. Also, PCalc costs just under $10.00.

This is one of the best calculator apps because it comes with a bunch of useful features packaged into a good-looking and simple application. The engineers who designed this calculator app deserve some kind of award.PCalc comes complete with interchangeable catch designs, alternative RPN mode, and customizable unit transformations. The interface of PCalc is basic and easy to navigate.

Pros

  • customizable unit transformations
  • basic and easy to navigate
  • logical to programmer feature is available

Cons

  • advanced features is not available in the free option

Quality

Price

​Rating

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 Magic Number Machine

best calculator app featuring Magic Number Machine that is Good if you need to enter large expressions or have extended precision

Magic Number Machine is another freeware calculator app for Mac. Also, Magic Number Machine is graphically laid out, full-featured, and high-precision scientific calculator. It’s also open-source, meaning you can see all the code that went into its creation.

Additionally, Magic Number Machine is ideal for those who need to have the accurate precision or enter large number expressions. One useful feature of this app is called “data drawers.” Data drawers give you an easy way to create statistical analyses such as gaussian eliminations and linear regressions. The comprehensive support of hexadecimal and complex numbers is another great benefit to those who have to work with datasets like these.

Pros

  • calculator for large expressions or have extended precision
  • complex numbers and hexadecimal numbers
  • open-source

Cons

  • no longer in active development

Quality

Price

​Rating

​$$

 Maple

best calculator app for mac maple is testing math writing

Maple is one of the greatest tools for productivity and solving complex math problems.

Also, Maple is easy to use and intuitive while delivering the most reliable, complete, advanced mathematical capabilities that you would expect from a market leader that has been developed over a 25-year period.

Maple lets you create vivid, executable technical documents while providing both the thought process that went into the analysis and the answer itself.

Pros

  • solve productivity and solving complex math problems
  • easy to use and intuitive
  •  lets you create vivid, executable technical documents

Cons

  • some users experience algorithmic  problems with the calculator 

Quality

Price

​Rating

​$$

 Mathematica

best calculator app for mac maple is testing math writing

Mathematica has a wide variety of capabilities. When it comes to large-scale programming or simple calculator functions, Mathematica is used by many of the most complex mathematical minds. Professors and scientists on the leading edge of scientific research, technical educators from high school to graduate school, and engineering analysists all use Mathematica as their calculator app of choice.

Mathematica combines a symbolic and numeric computational engine, documentation system, programming language, graphics system, and is capable of connecting to other applications. It’s this wide range of functions that make Mathematica unique and give it capabilities that make it a single destination for all of your technical work.

Pros

  • allows you to do large scale programming
  • used by many of the most complex mathematical minds
  • combines a symbolic and numeric computational engine

Cons

  • not for beginners 

Quality

Price

​Rating

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The Plot

best calculator apps for mac plot 2

The plot is used to create 2D scientific plots. The plot is easy to use, has been designed for everyday plotting, is capable of creating high-quality plots, and enables powerful and easy calculations and manipulations of datasets.

Plot lets you multitask with several different documents at once. Each document has one or more XY datasets. The possibility also exists to add subviews to your page. A subview becomes its own independent page with unique graphics attributes, data buffers, and more.

Using Plot, you can import data from binary or text files. You can also import data via drag and drop or copy and paste methods from other apps. Also, Plot enables many different plotting styles like text and graphics objects, automatic legend, error bars, histograms, dots, sticks, filled areas, bars, grids, symbols, lines, and more.

Pros

  • create 2D scientific plots
  • lets you multitask with several different documents at once
  • import data from binary or text files

Cons

  • not a numeric calculator with advanced function

Quality

Price

​Rating

​$$

Bonus – Caculator

“Caculator” is not really a calculator app at all. It’s just a way for teenagers to hide files from their less tech-savvy parents who won’t notice that the app name is spelled wrong. Instead of opening into a calculator, the app opens into a file storage space. The icon looks just like the iPhone’s native calculator app only with slightly different colors and a misspelled title.

Caculator is definitely not the best calculator app. We’re including it here just for kicks. It’s also helpful to our readers to know that this app is not an actual calculator app because it does, in fact, look like one.

Buyer’s Guide

We have told you what we believe to be the best calculator apps. When making a decision about which is the best calculator app for you, look at ease of use along with functionality. Does this calculator app serve your needs, and is it simple to use? If you don’t have a lot of experience with calculator apps, then you need the simplest calculator app possible.

Regardless of your experience level, you always need something that provides the functions you need. So, the number one thing to consider when searching for the best calculator app is whether or not the app can perform the calculations you need to compute.Featured Image: CC0 Public Domain Stevepbvia Pixabay (logo, banner and text added)