Why the Wolfram Alpha iPhone App Isn't Free
Article by George Norman
On 04 Nov 2009
More than two weeks back the team behind computational knowledge engine Wolfram Alpha released an application for the iPhone. The app provided all the computation knowledge engine goodness we’ve come to expect from Wolfram Alpha - the only downside was that the app came with a $50 price tag, which some consider to be rather hefty.

Regardless of the price tag, the Wolfram Alpha iPhone app made quite a splash. Apple featured it on the App Store’s What’s Hot list – which was a sign that iPhone users are interested in getting it. The second day the app was released it was featured on another list; the Top Grossing apps list.


There is no denying that the Wolfram Alpha app is quite useful. But is it worth $50? After all, you could very well access the Wolfram Alpha web page from your iPhone and use the computational knowledge engine for free. For added convenience you can even place a link to the Wolfram Alpha webpage on the iPhone’s home screen. So why would you want to pay $50 for this app?

Jeremy Schoeller Porter, Business Development at Wolfram Alpha, provided this answer: “The website and the app offer different experiences in using Wolfram|Alpha. We’ve spent a great deal of time tuning the Wolfram|Alpha App for the specific needs of iPhone users. The app is, in fact, a large collection of small changes. These changes add up to a unique and natural experience for using Wolfram|Alpha on the iPhone and iPod touch. We believe this experience is valuable, and those who have purchased the app have overwhelmingly told us that they agree. Unlike most of the $1 apps, which tend to only be used for a few days before they’re forgotten, we believe that the Wolfram|Alpha App’s value to users will continue to grow with time.”

If you would like to get started with Wolfram Alpha, please click here.
If you would like to get the Wolfram Alpha iPhone app, please click

Tags: Wolfram Alpha, Apple, iPhone, Wolfram Alpha iPhone App
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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