It’s been 14 years since Apple launched the iPad and it still doesn’t ship with a calculator app. Even though the iPhone and the Mac have one, the iPad does not. But who needs a calculator app on the iPad when you have a few simple workarounds to calculate like a pro?

Just use Spotlight

Spotlight Search has a built-in calculator that works on your iPhone, Mac, and of course, your iPad as well. You can launch Spotlight on your iPad by swiping downwards from the home screen or by using the Command + Space shortcut if you use the tablet with a hardware keyboard. With Spotlight on the screen, just type the calculations you want to perform and it’ll show the results. Spotlight’s calculator can handle addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, percentages, exponents, and much more. 

As long as you know the right syntax, you can easily perform lots of calculations directly from Spotlight. For example, 5⁴ has to be typed as 5^4; when you do this, Spotlight will show you the correct result.

Ask Siri to calculate

Spotlight is great at calculating, but for basic calculations, Siri is much faster. You can ask Siri to do all kinds of basic math pretty easily and in my testing, it delivers results much faster on the iPad. As long as Siri hears you correctly, you’ll get your calculations done in a jiffy.

Try web search

If Spotlight or Siri don’t cut it for you, then you can try using a search engine such as Google, DuckDuckGo, or Kagi. Just type your calculation in the search bar and all of these search engines will show you the right results. 

Download a calculator app

For some people, a dedicated calculator app is a must-have. If you find yourself craving one, you can get one of the many excellent options on the App Store. We like the following calculator apps:

Calzy ($5): One of the best-designed calculator apps for the iPad. Supports SlideOver, Split View, and has a neat memory area for reusing numerical values.

PCalc ($10): A highly customizable feature-rich calculator.

MyScript Calculator ($3): Great for solving equations.

Soulver ($3): Lets you use natural language, with words and numbers side-by-side, for calculations.

PhotoMath: Take photos of math problems and get step-by-step solutions.