Siri uses parts of Wolfram|Alpha when making computations. I’ve been testing out the stand-alone Wolfram|Alpha app for the last couple months. It’s sophisticated and impressive. Here’s the description from the App Store:
Remember the Star Trek computer? It’s finally happening–with Wolfram|Alpha. Building on 25 years of development led by Stephen Wolfram, Wolfram|Alpha has rapidly become the world’s definitive source for instant expert knowledge and computation.
Across thousands of domains–with more continually added–Wolfram|Alpha uses its vast collection of algorithms and data to compute answers and generate reports for you.
Parts of Wolfram|Alpha are used in the Apple Siri Assistant; this app gives you access to the full power of the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine.
These categories are included:
- And many more
Here’s what it looks like when you open the app:
That extended (and I mean, extended) keyboard tips you off as to its capabilities.
Unfortunately, my very first query did not go so well
Maybe that’s a protective measure?
Wolfram Alpha offers a ton of categories, which you can access in browse format, as well as see some display formats to get you going:
I had much better success with the app after my initial failed foray. How do you play the impossible-to-remember Dbmin6 chord?
Who was the tallest person ever? (Now over to the iPhone app.)
But you can do much more complicated stuff:
Per my wife’s bidding, I looked up the structure of acetone (she already knew it):
That’s just scratching the surface. Wolfram|Alpha is like Google meets a super-charged calculator, plus more smarts to boot. It can generate passwords for you, give you tide information, tell you the most popular boy names, and perform lots of other search tasks I haven’t tried yet.
The app has lots of nice little touches, too. You can use the share sheet to export the url link for your query, which you can then access via a Web browser or in-app later on. The app saves your search history, and even allows you to make favorites, so you can quickly access repeated searches.
Find the app (universal for iPad and iPhone) in the App Store here.
Thanks to the makers of Wolfram|Alpha for the free download for the purposes of review.