By October 18, 2009

Wolfram Alpha for iPhone released – amazing app but…

Stephen Wolfram was born in London, UK. Some people consider him to be a genius but critics say that his theories, like the one expressed in his book “New Kind of Science”: that universe is a cellular automaton – are totally not original but just rewriting of stuff that other people formulated and proved and generally in the era of simulation he is just justifying status quo and not presenting any new paradigm shift.

You might doubt in his theories but his program Mathematica (owned now by his company “Wolfram Research”) – for symbolic calculations and visualizations – really brought a breakthrough in science and engineering. Next major practical (not just another theory) endeavor of Wolfram Research is “Wolfram Alpha” – a search engine that is not just spitting out links to some dinky websites with good SEO, but a search engine that has knowledge engine built-in into itself!

Imagine asking a question in natural language or symbolic formula and getting visualizations and computation results! Wolfram Alpha is amazing. It’s much more than Google, it is like having an all-knowing genius whom can you ask stuff.

Now, Wolfram Alpha is available on the iPhone, as an app! But there is one tiny problem:

… it costs $49.99! 50 bucks for an app! Who will buy it? Probably only scientists who really need it.

In this app you can solution of complex formulas and you can get map-related information:


… and amazingly also genetic information analysis (our jaw dropped to the floor when we saw it):


… and several other pieces of information.

Official description of this app:

– Time Magazine declared Wolfram|Alpha one of the “50 Best Websites of 2009.”

– WIRED said Wolfram|Alpha is “like having a squad of Cambridge mathematicians and CIA analysts inside your browser.”

The Wolfram|Alpha app gives you immediate access to the vast resources of the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine.

Drawing on 20+ years of development, 50,000+ built-in algorithms and 10+ trillion pieces of continually updated and curated data, the Wolfram|Alpha app is the ultimate replacement for almost any kind of calculator or reference book—and much more.

The breakthrough technology of Wolfram|Alpha for the first time lets you get expert-level answers to your specific free-form questions—complete with stunning dynamically generated visualizations and tables, and richer and deeper information than you imagined possible.

The Wolfram|Alpha app plugs directly into Wolfram|Alpha’s supercomputing cloud to deliver the unrivaled power of the Wolfram|Alpha knowledge engine to the mobile environment.

With the Wolfram|Alpha app you can instantly compute answers to questions across thousands of domains—from finance and food, to math and medicine, to stocks and spacecraft, to wordplay and weather.

The Wolfram|Alpha app brings all this to the iPhone, with an elegant native iPhone interface that includes a special notation keyboard, customized iPhone output, editable history and integration with maps and other iPhone services.

Type your questions however you want; here are a few examples:

* integrate x sin x log x
* gdp USA / (france + italy)
* pentane + O2 -> CO2 + water
* Big Mac + fries + coke
* sunrise tomorrow in Hong Kong
* $200k mortgage at 5% for 40 yrs
* words containing letters mpg
* london sydney tokyo
* 6/17/92 to Aug. 4, 1998
* 100 euro to USD
* weather in Honolulu when Obama was born
* growth chart age 7 male 4’1″
* 4th largest female population in Europe
* y” + sin y = cos x
* MSFT vs. apple vs. IBM
* A# major 7th chord
* mother’s sister’s uncle
* sky chart Timbuktu next Tuesday
* NACA 4012 airfoil
* height of mt. everest / eiffel tower
* 1 MT nuclear explosion

Wolfram|Alpha is an indispensable tool for almost any iPhone user, including:

financial analysts * physicians * scientists * engineers * students * teachers * journalists * parents * economists * nutritionists * systems analysts * marketing managers * pilots * sportsmen * and many many others …

Domains covered in the current version include:

Mathematics * Statistics & Data Analysis * Physics * Chemistry * Materials * Engineering * Astronomy * Earth Sciences * Life Sciences * Technological World * Transportation * Computational Sciences * Web & Computer Systems * Units & Measures * Money & Finance * Dates & Times * Places & Geography * Socioeconomic Data * Weather * Health & Medicine * Food & Nutrition * Words & Linguistics * Culture & Media * People & History * Education * Organizations * Sports & Games * Music * Colors * and many many more ..

Conclusion: it would be one amazing app if it wouldn’t be so expensive. We are also wondering: how long it will take till the super-powerful Mathematica itself will be ported to iPhone by Wolfram Research too? After all we remember that long time ago Mathematica was running on PCs that were then less powerful than current iPhone… Anyway: WolframAlpha app is a treat for people who have a knack for science…

Get it here (price: $49.99):

* * * * *

Apart from iPhone, you might be interested also in Windows Mobile phones!

Posted in: Phones

About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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