Google Adds A Full Featured Scientific Calculator To Search Results
By on July 25th, 2012

Math nerds, heads up. Google has just added a full featured scientific calculator to Google search, thereby allowing you to perform complex scientific and trigonometrical calculations using only your mouse. Head over to Google.com, type in a simple calculation and you should see the 34 button calculator popping in, an example is shown below:

This is so very cool, far better than how Google used to show mathematical results previously. Moreover, you don’t have to type the exact expression in the search box over and over again. Once the scientific calculator shows up, you can just key in numbers directly in the calculator and perform mathematical calculations on the fly. Now that this has happened, I won’t mind unpinning Windows calculator from the taskbar. (related: use Google Chrome as a calculator)

Google’s advanced calculator supports trigonometrical, logarithmic, factorial and basic arithmetic functions e.g Pi(π) and factorial of a number (!). Classical Google specific calculation techniques have gone nowhere, Google has only aggrandized the functionality by amalgamating all the core methods into a newer calculator UI that just works.

For example, you can type “square root of [number]” (without quotes) to find the square root of any real number through Google search. That still works, only difference is that now you get the result displayed in the calculator itself.

However, here is a little catch.

The new calculator does not support square root of negative integers. At least, not yet. Try finding the square root of -1 or any other negative integer in the new scientific calculator of Google and you’ll get an error. (high school tip: square root of a negative number is the same as square root of a positive number, just add the imaginary “i” to it.)

But wait, you can still apply the old technique to get  the square root of a negative number from Google search. Here is how:

The best part : Google’s improved calculator supports voice commands, so you can use your microphone to type in numbers and the calculator will “listen”. It might take you some time to get accustomed to but once you master the operation, you will love it even more.

The new scientific calculator is by no means limited to PC’s or desktop computers; it works across all mobile devices e.g iOS, Android and so forth. Here is how the calculator looks when viewed from Android (just rotate your phone to get the full view)

Although separate from the new calculator UI, I am more excited about how Google has revamped the display of unit conversions. Previously, Google used to display the result of a conversion in the search result page, which has now been organized under a neat tabular format.

So when I am scratching my head over a math problem inundated with half a dozen different units, I can use the dropdown menu on the unit conversion page and convert the values in real time. Speed, mass, length, volume, area. temperature, time – Google has got you covered.

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Author: Amit Banerjee Google Profile for Amit Banerjee
Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

Amit Banerjee has written and can be contacted at amit@techie-buzz.com.

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