How To: Apple's Massive Calculator Update Lets You Convert Currency, Area, Length, Time, and Other Measurement Units with Ease

Apple's Massive Calculator Update Lets You Convert Currency, Area, Length, Time, and Other Measurement Units with Ease

Apple's Calculator app is getting a massive redesign, one that will make it so much more than a simple calculator with built-in scientific functions. There's a new Math Notes feature that ties in with the Notes app, it can keep a history of your calculations, and you can even convert over 200 currency and measurement units.

The revamped Calculator for iPhone comes with the iOS 18 software update, which is currently in beta. It also works on the macOS Sequoia beta. And for the first time, Calculator is available on iPad with iPadOS 18 (also in beta), which is a huge step above the previous options like Spotlight Search, Siri, and third-party calculators.

For unit conversions, you could previously get them in apps like Notes and Messages when iOS or iPadOS underlined the value — and this method is still available. Tap the underlined value, and you'll see a few converted examples to copy to your clipboard. For instance, tapping "16 W" would show 0.016 kW and 0.0215 HP. But Calculator's new unit conversion is much more powerful.

On macOS 14 Sonoma and earlier, the Calculator app already had unit conversions available via the "Convert" option in the menu bar, but it works slightly better on macOS 15 Sequoia.

Jump to a Section

  1. Open the Conversion Calculator
  2. Change the Input/Result Units
  3. View Your History
  4. Quickly Switch the Input and Units
  5. Perform Math Calculations
  6. View the Full List of Compatible Units
  7. Convert Units in Math Notes

Step 1: Open the Conversion Calculator

In the refreshed Calculator, at least 105 currencies and 110 measurement units are available to convert to and from, covering topics such as angles, area, data, energy, force, fuel, length, power, pressure, speed, temperature, time, volume, and weight.

To find them on iOS and iPadOS, tap the calculator icon at the bottom left, then toggle the "Convert" switch.

On macOS, you can click the calculator button and select "Convert," click "View" in the menu bar and select "Convert," or use the Option-Command-C keyboard shortcut.

Step 2: Change the Input/Result Units

Your Calculator app is now in unit conversion mode. The app defaults to converting U.S. dollars (USD) to euros (EUR), but you can change these to anything at any time (when the fields are cleared or when digits are already entered).

The top input field acts as the original currency or measurement unit, while the bottom result field acts as the target you need to convert to. Select either unit abbreviation to change the currency or measurement unit. If numbers are already entered, the results will update in real time.

Step 3: View Your History

Your calculated conversion will only be saved to your history whenever you hit the equals button. Tap the List button in the corner on iOS and iPadOS to see your history. On macOS, go to View » Show History in the menu bar or use the Control-Command-S keyboard shortcut.

Select a saved calculation in your history, and it will insert itself back into the conversion calculator. On iOS and iPadOS, you can tap "Edit" to delete individual saved conversions or "Delete All" saved items. You can also touch and hold or long-press a saved calculation to copy the expression, copy the result, or delete it from the history.

On macOS, you can use your trackpad or the typical keyboard shortcuts to select one or more saved calculations, then click the trash can icon.

Step 4: Quickly Switch the Input and Units

You can tap or click the Swap Units button (the two opposing arrows), which will take the number currently in the input field and move it to the other field assigned to the different currency or measurement unit, therefore making it the new input field. For example, when you have 9 USD to EUR, hitting Swap Units will switch it to USD to 9 EUR.

Step 5: Perform Math Calculations

What makes the new conversion calculator so special is that you can also perform math calculations at any time — and not just with the basic calculator. On iOS and iPadOS, tap the calculator icon and choose "Scientific" to solve more complicated expressions in the input field.

On macOS, you can click the calculator button and choose "Scientific," go to View » Scientific in the menu bar, or use the Command-2 keyboard shortcut. Note that unit conversion is not compatible with Programmer mode on macOS.

Step 6: View the Full List of Compatible Units

Here's a full list of the 215 units you can covert, which includes all 105 currencies and 110 measurement units:

ANGLE                     | DATA
------------------------- | --------------
arcminute (amin)          | bit (bit)
arcsecond (asec)          | byte (byte)
degree (deg)              | gibibyte (GiB)
microarcsecond (μasec)    | gigabyte (GB)
microradian (μrad)        | kibibyte (KiB)
milliarcsecond (masec)    | kilobyte (kB)
milliradian (mrad)        | mebibyte (MiB)
radian (rad)              | megabyte (MB)
                          | pebibyte (PiB)
AREA                      | petabyte (PB)
------------------------- | tebibyte (TiB)
acre (acre)               | terabyte (TB)
are (are)                 |
decare (daa)              | ENERGY
hectare (ha)              | --------------------------
square centimeter (cm²)   | British thermal unit (BTU)
square foot (ft²)         | calorie (cal)
square inch (in²)         | erg (erg)
square kilometer (km²)    | foot pound (ft lb)
square meter (m2)         | joule (J)
square mile (mi²)         | kilocalorie (kcal)
square millimeter (mm²)   | kilowatt hour (kWh)
square yard (yd²)         | newton meter (N⋅m)
stremma (str)             |
                          | FORCE
CURRENCY                  | -------------------
------------------------- | dyne (dyn)
Albanian lek (ALL)        | kilogram-force (kgf)
Algerian dinars (DZD)     | newton (N)
Argentine pesos (ARS)     | pound-force (lbf)
Armenian drams (AMD)      | poundal (pdl)
Australian dollars (AUD)  |
Azerbaijani manats (AZN)  | FUEL
Bahamian dollars (BSD)    | -------------------
Bahraini dinars (BHD)     | gallon per 100 miles (gal/100)
Bangladeshi takas (BDT)   | kilometer per liter (km/L)
Barbadian dollars (BBD)   | liter per 100 kilometers (L/100km)
Belarusian rubles (BYN)   | mile per gallon (mi/gal)
Belize dollars (BZD)
Bermudan dollars (BMD)        | LENGTH
Bolivian bolivianos (BOB)     | -------------------
Brazilian reals (BRL)         | astronomical unit (AU)
British pounds (GBP)          | centimeter (cm)
Brunei dollars (BND)          | decimeter (dm)
Bulgarian leva (BGN)          | foot (ft)
CFP franc (XPF)               | inch (in)
Cambodian riels (KHR)         | kilometer (km)
Canadian dollars (CAD)        | light year (ly)
Cayman Islands dollars (KYD)  | meter (m)
Chilean peso (CLP)            | mile (mi)
Chinese yuan (CNY)            | millimeter (mm)
Colombian peso (COP)          | nautical mile (nmi)
Costa Rican colóns (CRC)      | parsec (pc)
Croatian kunas (HRK)          | yard (yd)
Cuban pesos (CUP)             |
Czech korunas (CZK)           | POWER
Danish kroner (DKK)           | -------------------
Dominican pesos (DOP)         | BTU per minute (BTU/min)
East Caribbean dollars (XCD)  | horsepower (HP)
Egyptian pounds (EGP)         | kilowatt (kW)
Euros (EUR)                   | watt (W)
Falkland Islands pounds (FKP) |
Fijian dollars (FJD)          | PRESSURE
Gibraltar pounds (GIP)        | -------------------
Guatemalan quetzals (GTQ)     | atmosphere (atm)
Guyanaese dollars (GYD)       | bar (bar)
Haitian gourdes (HTG)         | inch of mercury (inHg)
Honduran lempiras (HNL)       | kilopascal (kPa)
Hong Kong dollars (HKD)       | pascal (Pa)
Hungarian forints (HUF)       | pound per square inch (PSI)
Icelandic króna (ISK)         | torr (Torr)
Indian rupees (INR)           |
Indonesian rupiah (IDR)       | SPEED
Iranian rial (IRR)            | -------------------
Iraqi dinar (IQD)             | foot per second (ft/s)
Israeli new shekels (ILS)     | kilometer per hour (km/h)
Jamaican dollars (JMD)        | knot (kt)
Japanese yen (JPY)            | meter per second (m/s)
Jordanian dinars (JOD)        | mile per hour (mi/hr)
Kazakhstani tenges (KZT)
Kuwaiti dinars (KWD)      | TEMPERATURE
Laotian kip (LAK)         | -------------------
Lebanese pound (LBP)      | Celsius (°C)
Libyan dinars (LYD)       | Fahrenheit (°F)
Macanese patacas (MOP)    | kelvin (K)
Macedonian denari (MKD)   |
Malaysian ringgit (MYR)   | TIME
Mauritian rupees (MUR)    | -------------------
Mexican pesos (MXN)       | day (day)
Moldovan lei (MDL)        | hour (hr)
Myanmar kyat (MMK)        | microsecond (μsec)
Namibian dollars (NAD)    | millisecond (msec)
Nepalese rupees (NPR)     | minute (min)
New Taiwan dollars (NTD)  | nanoseconnd (nsec)
New Zealand dollars (NZD) | second (sec)
Nicaraguan córdobas (NIO) | week (wk)
Norwegian kroner (NOK)    | year (yr)
Omani rials (OMR)
Pakistani rupee (PKR)         | VOLUME
Panamanian balboas (PAB)      | -------------------
Paraguayan guarani (PYG)      | centiliter (cL)
Peruvian soles (PEN)          | cubic centimeter (cm³)
Philippine pesos (PHP)        | cubic foot (ft³)
Polish zlotys (PLN)           | cubic meter (m³)
Qatari riyals (QAR)           | cup (cup)
Romanian lei (RON)            | fluid dram (fl dr)
Russian rubles (RUB)          | fluid ounce (fl oz)
Saudi riyals (SAR)            | gallon (gal)
Serbian dinar (RSD)           | liter (L)
Seychellois rupees (SCR)      | milliliter (mL)
Singapore dollars (SGD)       | pint (pt)
Solomon Islands dollars (SBD) | quart (qt)
South African rand (ZAR)      | tablespoon (tbsp)
South Korean won (KRW)        | teaspoon (tsp)
Sri Lankan rupees (LKR)       | UK fluid ounce (UK fl oz)
St. Helena pounds (SHP)       | UK gallon (UK gal)
Sudanese pounds (SDG)         | UK pint (UK pt)
Surinamese dollars (SRD)      | UK quart (UK qt)
Swedish kronor (SEK)
Swiss francs (CHF)              | WEIGHT
Syrian pound (SYP)              | -------------------
Thai baht (THB)                 | dram (dram)
Trinidad & Tobago dollars (TTD) | gram (g)
Tunisian dinars (TND)           | kilogram (kg)
Turkish lira (TRY)              | long ton (lt)
UAE dirhams (AED)               | metric ton (t)
US dollars (USD)                | milligram (mg)
Ukrainian hryvnias (UAH)        | ounce (oz)
Uruguayan pesos (UYU)           | pound (lb)
Venezuelan bolívars (VES)       | short ton (ton)
Vietnamese dong (VND)           | slug (slug)
Yemeni rial (YER)               | stone (st)

Step 7: Convert Units in Math Notes

You can also convert currencies and measurement units using the new Math Notes calculator. This is an excellent option if you prefer using an Apple Pencil on an iPad or even just your finger on an iPhone or iPad to write out math problems. It's also helpful if you're taking notes and want to quickly convert something using the default keyboard.

On iOS and iPadOS, tap the calculator button in the bottom left in the Calculator interface or open the Math Notes folder in the Notes app, then start a new math note or select a saved one. You can even create a regular note in the Notes app. Then, simply type in or write down what you want to convert, followed by the equal (=) sign, and Notes will provide the converted amount.

Some words to help convert units include "as," "in," "into," and "to." For example, 5,876 NPR in CNY, 24 AU to m, 34 amin into mrad, and 985 dyn as N. For more information, check out our complete guide to using Math Notes on iOS 18 and iPadOS 18.

On macOS, it works pretty much the same way. To start a new math note, select "Math Notes" from the calculator button, go to View » Open Math Notes in the menu bar, use the Option-Command-M keyboard shortcut, or open a new notes from the Math Notes folder in the Notes app.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover photo, screenshots, and GIFs by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

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