A key Apple app is rumored to be getting a major upgrade in macOS 15

Calculator on macOS
The macOS Calculator (Image credit: Future)

We're set to hear much more about what's coming with macOS 15 when Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) gets underway on June 10 – and one app in particular is rumored to be getting a major upgrade.

That app is the Calculator app, and while it perhaps isn't the most exciting piece of software that Apple makes, AppleInsider reckons the upcoming upgrade is "the most significant upgrade" the app has been given "in years".

It's so substantial, it's got its own codename: GreyParrot (that's said to be a nod towards the African grey parrot, known for its cognitive abilities). Part of the upgrade will apparently include the Math Notes feature we've already heard about in relation to a Notes app upgrade due in iOS 18.

It sounds as though Math Notes is going to make it easier to ferry calculations between the Notes and the Calculator apps. A new sidebar showing the Calculator history is reported to be on the way too. This might well get its own button on the app, AppleInsider says.

Currency conversions

Calculator for macOS

Currency conversions currently require a pop-up dialog (Image credit: Future)

A visual redesign is also apparently on the way, with "rounded buttons and darker shades of black" to match the iOS Calculator. Users will also be able to resize the Calculator app window, with the buttons resizing accordingly, which isn't currently possible.

Unit conversion is going to be made more intuitive and easier to access, AppleInsider says, with no need to open up the menus to select conversion types – at the moment, it's necessary to select currencies in a pop-up dialog.

The thinking is that Apple wants to better compete with apps such as OneNote from Microsoft, and the third-party Calcbot app for macOS. It's been a long time since the Calculator app was changed in any way, and its rather basic feature set means it's lagging behind other alternatives.

According to AppleInsider, there's no guarantee that Apple will go through with this Calculator upgrade, but it seems likely. Expect to hear much more about macOS 15, iOS 18, and Apple's other software products at WWDC 2024 on June 10.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.