Is there an iPhone app to quickly add specific numbers?
July 3, 2013 10:30 PM   Subscribe

I need to add up prices as quickly as possible at work. There is no cash register, and using a normal calculator is too slow.

So let's say at my work I sell 4 products, with 4 different prices. Sometimes it gets extremely busy, so that even using a calculator to type in "2 5 + 2 7 + 2 8 + 2 8 =" is too slow, and trying to add it in my head is stressful and too easy to make errors. I would like to find an app that works kind of like a cash register, so I just press a button for each product and then a "Total" button, instead of a button for every numeral and operation if I use a regular calculator.

Does this exist? Is there another way to do this?
posted by flora to Work & Money (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe get a Bluetooth keyboard with keypad? That might reduce errors.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:38 PM on July 3, 2013

A spreadsheet app. One column has prices and the next column has quantity. A cell at the bottom is setup to calculate the total. All you have to do is type the quantities.
posted by rancidchickn at 10:39 PM on July 3, 2013

Have you tried searching for a POS (Point of Sale) app in the app store? I just did a search on my iphone and came up with some cashier/register style apps and the apps that go with the gear you can plug into your iphone to run card transactions, etc.

I would link some but I'm not exactly sure what features or abilities you will be looking for (such as scanning features, or card scanning...)
posted by Crystalinne at 10:44 PM on July 3, 2013

I don't know about iPhone, because the screen size is too limited, but there's gotta be an iPad app that does exactly this: you set it up with products and prices, and it gives you a colored square for each product and you tap them and it adds them up.

I can't search now but if you haven't found it by Monday memail me and look for it. And if it doesn't exist I can probably build it for you.
posted by alms at 10:49 PM on July 3, 2013

I know this is not what you looking for, so feel free to ignore my advice if you don't like it.

Why don't you get a printing calculator?

I can't see how any calculator apps on iphone or ipad will add up numbers faster than printing calculator that is specially designed for the operation you are asking for. They are much faster than regular calculator in adding up prices. Just press the + button, it will total up everything you entered so far. There are even buttons for tax and change. They are dirt cheap too, usually less than $20 for basic model. Just pay money and make the problem go away.

Quick google also lead me to this $3 ipad app.
posted by Carius at 11:15 PM on July 3, 2013

I think Square (the iOs card reader) has a register app that does just this -- not sure if it will work standalone, but maybe worth a try?
posted by katrielalex at 11:30 PM on July 3, 2013

Response by poster: I've downloaded several POS apps but they all require signing up to some service (which occasionally costs money), and have too many features so that it's very convoluted to just add numbers, which is all I want to do. But as quickly as possible, so the printing calculator / numerical keyboard / spreadsheet solutions are probably too slow for my purposes. (I'm trying to serve a couple hundred people within 15 minutes, so every quarter of a second of button-pressing adds up)

The Square app looks like it might work but it's not available in my country.
The Imonggo app is basically how I want it to look in terms of layout, but the app seems slow and it's hard to clear once I know the total. Not ideal but I'll try using that unless there are any better options.

Thanks for all the tips so far :)
posted by flora at 11:39 PM on July 3, 2013

Response by poster: Damn, now that I actually try and use a non-demo account for Imonggo I can't figure it out at all.
So to clarify, I'm looking for a cash register app that is very very very simple, or a calculator app where I can press a single button for numbers I'm going to use all the time, instead of typing them all in every time.
posted by flora at 11:58 PM on July 3, 2013

This can be done with simple javascript on a web page. Post this in metafilter jobs.
posted by Sophont at 12:35 AM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you have an iPhone, you can download the Google drive app and make a very very basic spreadsheet (in fact I just made one and would be happy to share it with you). It's so easy to type in numbers and get an automatic total. You just double click the box, type the #, hit return, type #, hit return, etc. The app is NOTHING like using Drive in a browser. Give it a shot (and memail me your gmail if you want this sheet I made!)
posted by ancient star at 12:43 AM on July 4, 2013

Best answer: OK, try MemoryCalc or Memory Calculator.
posted by Carius at 1:20 AM on July 4, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you Carius, MemoryCalc is going to save me a lot of stress!
posted by flora at 1:38 AM on July 4, 2013

Soulver is my favourite app (actually suite of apps, there's desktop and iPad versions too) for this kind of quick calculation. Hammer in a series of totals and you'll get an instant total, plus you can add together lines, do conversions, all sorts of things. It's an amazing rethinking of what a calculator should be, sort of like a simple spreadsheet/calculator combo.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:55 AM on July 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm trying to serve a couple hundred people within 15 minutes, so every quarter of a second of button-pressing adds up

Eliminate all the button-pressing and make a table of the most common combinations. Make all your prices round dollar amounts, and price them so you can minimize making change.

Make the prices easy for people to understand, and some of them will have their money ready when they order.

You'll probably want to attach the table to your arm or a wall.

Having to use two hands to handle your smartphone is going to slow things down a lot if you have to take money from people as well.

Trying to get several hundred people to sort through their money and pay you in 15 minutes probably isn't going to work, unless they have some reason to do their part very fast. I think you may need some help with this.
posted by yohko at 3:02 PM on July 4, 2013

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