The official Wolfram Alpha app has just launched in the Market, adding a ‘computational knowledge engine’ to the repertoire of search tools available from your Android phone.
Like the iPhone equivalent, this gives you a nice app-sized edition of the version of Wolfram Alpha that’s available on the web.
If you’ve not used Wolfram Alpha before you should check it out. It’s perhaps best described the learned elder sibling of Google and Wikipedia, one with a DSc. Typing in ‘Japan’ for example will give you a breakdown of that country’s population, GDP, and ethnic mix and so on in a easy reference format.
You can also use Wolfram Alpha for basic and advanced maths calculations, like if you wanted to quickly work out a percentage or find the square root of a number. Unfortunately, maths isn’t our strong point so we’re unable to wax lyrical about how great it is for trigonometry and calculus.
We suppose if you were out having a meal with friends you could use Wolfram Alpha to work out who owes what; essentially use it as a split the bill app, only with more geek points. Speaking of meals, searching for a generic type of food like ‘ice cream’ or ‘asparagus’ will give you a breakdown of average nutritional facts.
While you can also ask it more specific questions like “What is the atomic value of cadmium”, it’s also not exactly perfect yet. Questions like “What is the world’s deepest river” don’t yet yield any results further than a dictionary definition of ‘deepest’.
Wolfram Alpha works on Android devices running versions as late as 1.6, so that covers pretty much everybody. It’s available to download from the Android Market now for £1.25.