YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Need a scientific calculator? Type 'calculator' into Google

July 25, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • A screen shot of Google's new scientific calculator, which the company made part of the search function Wednesday.
A screen shot of Google's new scientific calculator, which the company… (Google )

Need to do some complicated calculations? Google has you covered. 

As of Wednesday, if you type any equation into the Google search bar and hit "return," Google will give you the answer and present you with a full fledged, 34-button scientific calculator.

You can also access the calculator by typing "calculator" into the search bar.

The calculator is also available on your mobile device. If you type the word "calculator" or enter an equation into the Google search bar, a basic calculator will show up if you hold your smartphone in the upright "portrait" position. You'll have to turn the phone on it's side ("landscape position") if you want to see the fancy scientific version.

You can even talk to this calculator: It is compatible with Desktop Search.

We emailed Google to see what the company could tell us about its new scientific calculator, and received the following statement from a representative:

"Users have been able to search for equations for a while and quickly see the answer on the search results page, and we recently expanded the feature to include a graphing function and 3D graphing. Today we've updated the calculator feature to be more intuitive and easy to use."

So it's the interface that is new, not neccessarily the functions. But you've got to admit, it's a pretty cool interface.

Many observers have noted that the scientific calculator is just the latest move by Google to help turn its search page into a destination of its own, rather than only a way to find other sites on the Web.


How to get 70,000 people into a single, giant, photo

Transparent solar cells help windows generate electricity

Inspired by Marissa Mayer, tech wimp takes MIT computer programming course

Follow Deborah Netburn on Twitter or Google+

Los Angeles Times Articles