Tydlig Is an Amazing Modern Reimagining of a Calculator
I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing and using so many great calculator apps for iOS over the last few years. My favourites have been Soulver and Calca because they actually try and do something interesting in the category instead of just skinning the age old wireframe of a calculator. Last week I came across Tydlig and the video blew my mind.
Tydlig looked like something everyone has wanted but never imagined could be possible. The description of the app on the website intrigued me. This part in particular:
Why do most iOS calculators look like someone taped an old plastic calculator to the screen? How come calculator apps still have buttons like MC/MR/M+/M- when there is enough room on modern devices to store all numbers you could ever think of?
When you first launch the app, you’re greeted with a quick tutorial showcasing what makes the app unique. Tyldig starts with a clean slate for your work area and the buttons are at the bottom on the iPhone or on the right for the iPad. On the iPhone, there’s a column of buttons on the left that lets you select the kind of calculator input you want and you can pick from your everyday basic numbers to trigonometric functions and exponents. On the iPad, you have a much larger visual work space and can slide in to the left from the edge to reveal the basic number input or the other functions. The number pad and all the buttons within the app are designed beautifully and it actually uses full colour buttons when needed. Graphs look amazing and truth be told, I found myself trying to link almost every calculation to a graph for the first few days of use.
As is the case with text based calculator apps, Tydlig has responsive results. It also has linked results. You can start off with something as basic as an addition and use the result in more complicated calculations by tapping and dragging it elsewhere on the workspace. You can pan around the empty workspace and see how changes made in the middle of a linked calculation affects everything after and link results to graphs as well. The immense freedom given to you on your workspace or canvas is great, but a snap to top or any edge would have been even better. I find myself doing too much scrolling on the phone. The iPad has a much larger workspace so it is a better experience and for once, an app isn’t wasting space by having number buttons on the iPad large enough for Godzilla to use.
Tydlig to me is a great balance between the power calculator people who swear by Soulver use and a simple calculator like the one built into iOS. It doesn’t strive to be the calculator app everyone loves, but it definitely has an audience. An audience that will be glad an app like this exists. Tydlig is available on the App Store as a Universal app for $4.99.