The beautiful calculator app for Mac

Numi is promoting itself as the “Beautiful Calculator App for Mac”, and who are we to discuss? But this free app brings a lot more to the table than just the looks. Numi offers built-in conversions, date and time management, and integration with Alfred.

The main proposition of this app is perhaps its biggest selling point. Numi is part calculator, part notepad. Its use of natural language processing makes it an original and accessible alternative to the default macOS calculator.

The Numi approach to calculate

Each computer has a built-in calculator application; computers are, after all, very sophisticated calculators! The default macOS calculator is fine, but it tries to recreate the experience of a physical calculator. It’s familiar, but it fails to take full advantage of the midrange. Having to use the mouse for many buttons can also be annoying.

A screenshot of the macOS calculator app.

Numi takes a rather different approach.

Related: A Complete Guide to Default Mac Apps and What They Do

Rather than working one key at a time, it provides an interface much like a basic text editor. You can easily change what you are doing at any time and perform multiple calculations at the same time. In many ways, it’s a compromise halfway between a normal calculator and a spreadsheet.

To download: Numi (Free, premium version available)

Basic Mathematics with Numi

Enter a simple calculation and Numi displays the result in the right column, updating as you type. Enter another one in the row below and you’ll get a right-aligned results column with a grand total at the very bottom.

A screenshot from Numi showing basic math functionality.

Numi supports all of the standard symbols you would expect including parentheses for priority, ^ for power, and so on. The application intelligently manages various symbols. It treats both * and X as a multiplication operator and even supports the official Unicode multiplication sign, ×.

Related: What’s the Difference Between ASCII Text and Unicode?

Numi supports complex functions

There are about 20 built-in functions for more complex math in Nume, such as sqrt () for square root, abs () to get the absolute value, or tan () to get the tangent.

Numi also supports a few handy constants: Pi and E.

Numi showing complex mathematical functions.

Numi currency and time conversions

Numi does a great job of converting currency and time. So much so that you may be able to stop turning to Google. Converting between time zones can be as convenient as typing New York time to get the current time for a locale. You can also perform calculations on time using references to now Where next Wednesday, for example.

Currency conversion works in a similar way, handling expressions such as $ 10 to £ and the like. You can also change the currency and unit symbol to $ 10 and $ 10 both work, which is very convenient.

A screenshot from Numi showing currency and time conversions.

Using Variables to Simplify Regular Calculations

You can use simple variables to repeat calculations and improve the readability of what you are working on. Just assign with the equal sign as in:


And you can use this variable in subsequent operations such as:

hours * 20$

A screenshot from Numi showing how variables can be used.

Numi natural language processing

Numi really shines when it comes to its language handling. You can write most operators using words as well as symbols, so more, times, percent, and to subtract everything works as you would expect. The app also makes some nifty distinctions in cases like:

20% of $10

Which produces $ 2, while:

20% on $10

Means the less obvious add 20% from $ 10 to $ 10. Coming to $ 12. You can even write:

20% of what is 30cm

So you can avoid having to know that you really want 30 × 0.2 all along.

Unfortunately, this does not extend to numbers written as words. Ten plus one will not give you a result.

Numi stays away

Numi has a few options to make it very accessible, so it’s always on hand when you need it. You can, of course, assign a keyboard shortcut to move Numi’s window forward when it’s running.

The display in menu bar the setting goes even further.

It adds an icon to the global menu bar, which toggles the application window when clicked. But it also prevents Numi from appearing as a full app in certain contexts: in the app switcher or the Dock, for example. This means that the app will not get in your way, even if it is running all the time.

Rethink your calculations with Numi

Numi isn’t about to take over the world, but he does what he does very well, with minimal fuss. As a disruption of the traditional calculator paradigm, this is an interesting approach.

For daily use, Numi is accessible and practical. Some of its features may take a bit of learning, but Numi is a great addition to the set of standard Mac apps we all know and love.


The best Mac apps to install on your MacBook or iMac

Looking for the best apps for your MacBook or iMac? Here’s our full list of the best apps for macOS.

Read more

About the Author

Comments are closed.