Monday, September 24, 2012

iOS App Review: PowerOne FE - 9/24/2012

As we move closer to using our tablets, smartphones, and other "one-stop" machines for literally everything, I want to start reviewing calculator apps on occasion. Today, it is the PowerOne App. All the screen shots are from the iPad app.


App: PowerOne
Software created by Infinity Softworks
Type of Calculator: Finance, Scientific, Construction, among possibly others
Are there Lite editions? Yes
Price of the Full Edition: $4.99 (Update 9/15/2012)
Available on: iPhone/iPod Touch, iPad (I do not know if an Android version is available)


Features:

* Full force scientific calculator with calculus, matrices, vectors, complex numbers, and basic logic computations
* Templates for every kind of application. They are easily accessed in with the Library app.
* You have the ability to create your own templates and share them via email. You can also share results from templates.
* The calculator works in either Algebraic or RPN mode.

Pros:

* Templates are available for most applications. You can share results and templates through email.
* You can mark templates as favorites and organize them.
* Often, the templates will self-calculate results as you enter data.
* The version you purchase will pre-load templates from appropriate subject. However, with any version, you can access all templates. I am running the Finance version.
* The factorial function (fact) works for all real arguments.
* Complex functionality extends to the trigonometric functions and exponential functions.

Four examples of templates are shown below:

Cons:

* The calculator is very cumbersome to use if you want to use advanced functions. First, you have to select different keyboards (trigonometry, number, etc) to get access to different commands. The Advance tab gets you access to these keyboards.
* The Help button gives only basics, and but syntax for each function. If you want syntax, you have to call up the Advanced Tab, pressing more, and scrolling down. Don't forget if you want to access the different keyboards, you have to scroll back up.
* The language is cumbersome. I have not tried to program a template in this version in the app, but the learning curve seems to be steep.
* If you want statistical functions, use the templates rather than the calculator, because the functions are confusing to get to run properly.
* Regarding the Function Graph template, you will need to type the entire function yourself. No access to the function calls. Worse, the keyboard does not stay on the alphabetic keyboard, and inconsistently switches back to the numeric keyboard. Almost impossible to type functions. Note: This complaint is limited to the iPad. Thankfully the iPhone/iPod Touch version does not have this problem.
* When entering arguments in templates, the numeric keypad shows up with no functionality. The arithmetic functions show up by the press of the Math key, but it blocks your number pad! Also, no way to enter π other than typing the value out: 3.14159265359... (See below)

Overall:

* If you are looking for solvers to common problems, this app is great for it. Many templates are available.
* For this version (I can't find the version number at this time), I would not recommend this app for regular calculator use, at least the iPad version. The iPhone version may be more useable as far as the calculator is concerned.

Syntax of some functions and numbers are presented here. Spaces between arguments are added for readability only; not required.

Any principal root: root(y; x) returns y^(1/x)

Complex Numbers - rectangular: (real ; imag)

Complex Numbers - polar: (radius ;@ angle). The Help screen got the syntax wrong, you need both the color and at sign.

Base Designations: _d, _b, _o, _h (but Hexadecimal numbers must start with a number) are entered by pressing the dec, bin, oct, and hex keys on the Programmer keyboard, respectively.

Matrices: [ [a_11 ; a_12 ; a_13 ; ... ] ; [a_21 ; ...] ... ]. Colons separate row entries as well as columns.

Numeric Derivative: nDeriv("f(x)" ; "x" ;point). The function and its variable are enclosed in quotes. The quotes are included on the Calculus keypad.

Numeric Integral: fnInt("f(x)" ; "x" ; lower limit ; upper limit). The function and variable are enclosed in quotes.

In the Statistics keyboard, the nCr and nPr keys calls up the comb and perm functions, respectively. Both take two arguments, n and r.

As always, comments and questions are welcome.

Until next time,
Eddie

This blog is property of Edward Shore. © 2012

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Eddie, very well written post. I usually just use http://www.omerusapp.com for my calculations. It supports natural hand gestures. Give it a try.

    ReplyDelete

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