Wolfram Alpha iPhone App: Good, But a Bit Expensive
Article by George Norman
On 20 Oct 2009
After releasing the Wolfram Alpha API, the team behind the popular computational knowledge engine has now released the Wolfram Alpha iPhone app. With the app you gain access the to all the computational functionality Wolfram Alpha has to offer. But keep in mind that the app is not a simple front end for the site, it is not something as simple as embedding the computational knowledge engine in an iPhone app.

“The Wolfram|Alpha app makes the iPhone a convenient and powerful mobile computing system that can be used as a scientific calculator; as any one of a zillion tip, mortgage, exchange rate, and fitness calculators; as a weather app, an economics app, a financial analysis app, a movie and entertainment app, and a star-finding app; and much more. But beyond that, the Wolfram|Alpha app lets you explore a world of knowledge that you may not have know you needed, some of which may even seem silly until you find it,” commented Jeremy Schoeller Porter, Business Development at Wolfram Alpha.


Here are some Wolfram Alpha iPhone app highlights:
- The app is connected to Wolfram Alpha’s supercomputing cloud. This allows it to bring the Wolfram Alpha knowledge engine experience to the mobile user.
- It can be used by pretty much anyone, but the team at Wolfram Alpha highlighted these category of users in particular: financial analysts, physicians, scientists, engineers, students, teachers, journalists, parents, economists, nutritionists, systems analysts, marketing managers, pilots, sportsmen.
- The app’s user interface is specially designed for the iPhone. Consequently the UI features a special notation keyboard, customized iPhone output, editable history, and it integrates with native iPhone services (like Maps).
- Easily get an answer to all sorts of questions, spreading across countless domains.

The only thing that may put you off is the hefty price tag – the Wolfram Alpha iPhone app will set you back $49.99. I will admit that $50 is about half the price of a graphing calculator, but keep in mind that you could simply fire up Safari and access Wolfram Alpha for free. You don’t get the automatic text wrap feature, you don’t get to use the special keyboard, you cannot bookmark queries, you cannot email and Twitter queries, but at least you don’t part with $50 either. Also keep in mind that the app does not work if the iPhone is not connected to the web.

If you would like to get the Wolfram Alpha iPhone app, a download location is available here.

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