Calculator³ updated for Windows 8, temporarily available for free

Calculator³ for Windows Phone has been updated to take full advantage of new functionality on new hardware. The app now supports all screen resolutions, as well as featuring multiple Live Tile sizes. If you're not familiar with the app, Calculator³ is a simple calculator that sports five modes: Basic, Scientific, Programmer, Currency Converter, and Unit Converter.

If the Windows Phone 8 support wasn't enough, Live Tile size support has been included in the Windows Phone 7.8 version of the app. The developer has contacted us to announce that the paid version of Calculator³ will be free through next week - even more reason to pick it up from the store.

You can download Calculator³ and Calculator² (free, ad-supported version - left QR code) from the Windows Phone Store, as well as the Windows 8 app.

QR: Calculator


Reader comments

Calculator³ updated for Windows 8, temporarily available for free


I've emailed the developer, and he said he is working on a fix for a future update. I've noticed it happening when there is one or more apps available

@iamoniwaban What is the exact error message you're getting and is it in the app or when you try to download the app?

@S_C_B I feel really bad here and have to apologise because I can't remember you emailing me about this, and I can't find anything in my inbox. Would you mind emailing again with the issue you had to refresh my memory?

The issue is with WP Central. Not the calc app. Its when there is more then one app, the links to the apps have the "error retrieving title" as the app name.

The title is incorrect as only Calculator2 is available for W8 (instead of Calculator3 as the title implies). The title should say "Updated for Windows Phone 8"...

If it is really that one is just ad supported then it should be called calculator³ Free, to avoid confusion over features.

Both apps are identical but Calculator² is free with ads and Calculator³ is paid without ads (but currently free for a week). There are a couple of minor differences, the main being that Calculator² does not have the background task for automatically updating the exchange rates (I needed to do this to limit my requests from the Exchange Rates source), and the system tray is also hidden.

Originally the paid version was called Calculator² but then I realised I had to release a free version if the app was going to be a success in the Store. I then called the free version Calculator² Free, but never really liked that so changed that version to Calculator² and the paid version to Calculator² Pro. I wasn't keen on that either so finally I ended up with Calculator² and Calculator³.

I was actually thinking about getting rid of the paid version and having an in-app purchase as an option to remove the ads in the free version, which is how the Windows version works. I was going to make the in-app purchase free for a while to allow current users to migrate over and also make it free with no ads on WP7. However, I then find out that Calculator³ is in the top 20 paid apps in the US and I couldn't really turn down that kind of visibility.

I would just make Calculator2 into Calculator3 free after this promotional thing. It's understandable that you'd want to keep the top 20 app as the paid app (that's awesome! it's a great calculator).
That way Calc3 is for WP8 and Calc2 is for W8.
That's how I would do it. Just for the sake of consistency. 

BTW when is Calculator3 coming to Windows 8 (not WP8)? I can only see C2 in the store... or is it like that as you can remove ads with a purchase?

@fusioncept - The problem is that Calculator² is in the Toolbox collection in quite a few regions, So I don't want to lose that either! Combined with the fact the WP7 devices are still being sold, and also some other reasons like requiring the phone and user identities to serve pubcenter ads, I decided it was best to just stick with what I have.

@schlubadub - Yes, it's like that for Windows because of the in-app purchase. I would have done this on Windows Phone had the option been available from the start.

does anyone know how to change the default currency conversion for live tile? when I click on edit live tile, it only shows exchange options for GDP to other currencies. I need SGD to INR

Actually it works by clicking on one of the three conversion options (set to GDP to ### by default), which will set that conversion to the one currently in the calculator display. All three conversions are shown on the wide tile, but only conversion 1 on the medium tile. The setting in General Settings for the default calculator is to set which mode the app starts up in when opening it from the app list or its main tile (each mode can also be pinned to Start).

I really need to think of a better UI for setting the conversions on the Currency tile as the current method probably isn't very intuitive. Perhaps something like showing a mock tile when a user clicks on 'edit live tile' and letting the user drag in a conversion to each slot.

He said "got it thanks" smart guy! What, my helps not good enough?.. Oh, sorry you're the developer!!!.. Lol! I was joking from the get go.

Richard, Looking for changing the default GDP to any other required currency. One more thing I want highlight that, while swiping left in settings menu,while reaching programme (after general,basic, scientific) it is getting struck and not moving to next option or not coming back to scientific (by doing right swipe) in my lumia 620. Your kind attention to this required. But yours is one of the best app to have in wp8.

Just tap on the upper currency in the display to view all the currencies, and select one to set it as the currency to convert from. You can do the same with the lower currency, and both should be saved when you exit the app.

I've had a few reports about the Programmer Settings issue and know what the problem is. It effects Indian users on WP8 only. I have some custom code for inserting group separators into numbers and use this on the Programmer Settings page. This worked fine on WP7 but Microsoft made a subtle change to the Indian number culture on WP8 (and Windows 8) and the result is an infinite loop in my method. I actually though I had fixed this but unfortunately I have a bit of code duplication in the class for the Programmer Settings control and the bug still exists there (so some bad coding skills are to blame here!).

I'm actually in Bangalore at the moment on a training course with my new job, but, while having a great time in India, unfortunately it means I don't have access to a Windows 8 machine for the next 5 weeks so I can't fix this until I get back (you need Windows 8 to install the WP8 SDK). I'll try a remote connection to my home machine (I've never done this before) in the meantime to see if I can get a fix out earlier.

The only suggestion I have is to temporarily change your phone's region to something other than India in order to view and set the programmer settings. I'm sorry I don't have something more ideal. Thanks for letting me about this too!

How do you know it's "Calculator Squared"? Maybe it's "Calculator... TO THE POWER OF TWO!!" or something like that ;)

great app !
if you got the calculator3 now when it's free, will you have to buy it later ? or the ads will pop in later ?

Once you have the app, you have the app, there's nothing they can do to get you to pay for it, so enjoy it :D

there is a scheme used by many : you make the app available for free and after a while roll out an update that makes the app add supported  :)

If you download the app when it's free, you've effectively made a purchase of $0.00. When I end the free promotional period the api in the app that checks if the installed version is running under trial mode will return false (i.e. not a trial version) in the same way it would for someone who had purchased the app when it is paid. It's only Calculator² that has the ads and not Calculator³; the trial in Calculator³ is time-limited, but as I say that limit won't be there for anyone downloading during the promotion.
@TudorD I really dislike that kind of tactic. There is one developer in the Store at the moment who is ruining the New+Rising list for other developers and does do that in addition to other dubious tactics. A quick look at the list and you'll probably figure out who.

kudos to you then !
hope you don't mind me asking, but would it be hard to implement as currency info source ?
is it really easy to make an app for wp 8  after you make the desktop version, like ms claims it is ?

Not hard, but very expensive! I'm using and the service is very good.
The Windows 8 version was a port of the Windows Phone app, so I've only gone in that direction. It was quite straightforward except for a few niggly things. Most of my classes I could just copy over and all I had to do was change the using statements (I'm using C# + XAML) to reference the WinRT libraries. The only times when I couldn't do this was with my class for saving to isolated storage, and also localisation is handled slightly differently. The bigger issue is designing the app to take full advantage of the bigger screen sizes on WIndows 8 and the differences in the UI, which was a bit more work than I thought. It might be even easier to port across if the app makes extensive use of native code, but that's not something I've done so couldn't say for sure.

What I actually found surprising is how easy it was to port from WP7 to WP8. With a bit of refactoring and alterations to the XAML, I would say 99% of my code is identical between the two versions (isolated storage and localisation, etc are all handled the same) and it was much easier than I thought to support all screen resolutions. Back porting would be another issue as WP8 can make use of the new C# keywords that aren't available in WP7. 

thanks for the reply :)
one more question : could you add more operations to the scientific calculator ? (tried to put it in landscape mode to see if there are more types of calculatios but it doesn't add anything )

You may have already tried this, but after tapping the Func. button, swiping to the left reveals a few more functions.

I don't think I like the fact that a calculator has a background process; the 820's battery is bad enough as it is.

Yes I know you can disable it but still.

It has a background process in order to allow for a certain feature that some people may appreciate. If you would like to sacrifice that in exchange for better battery life, good on you, you can disable it. Everybody shouldn't have to lose their privilege to use that feature because a few people are too bothered to change a simple setting disabling it.

Apps can update a live tile without ever being listed there. Apps can update a live tile even while "disabled" there. What is actually being disables is not clearly stated; forgive me for being wary of potential background processes but the truth is we don't know that "disabling" it ceases ALL background function, and for something as simple as a calculator, no matter how nice it is, I'm not really keen on straining this awful battery anymore.

@walters, the above error is referencing a bug or problem with the wpcentral app and not your great calculator apps.

Easily the best calculator app on any mobile OS (that's currently free). It's not only a calculator. It's a unit converter/currency converter too. I most especially love the programmer mode.

You also have to notice how it adheres with the Windows Phone 8 UI which makes it feel like a native app. An easy 5 star.

It's astonishing to see the WP native app not have all the functions of a scientific calculator (where is e???). This makes up for those short comings and more. Essential for any WP users.

Amazed with the developer's attention to details -- fluid swiping between calculators, two-sided subtiles, flags of all currency nations (Taiwan's flag is missing?), and a most comprehensive set of conversions. Pinned this to my start screen right away. Looking forward to more apps from this software house!

I might be being thick but how to I change the values on unit converter? Can't seem to alter it from temperature.

Pretty lame. It was free when I got it and now it sports ads?  This ain't android you know.  Lame move developer. Very lame.