In October, computational engine Wolfram Alpha launched a slick iPhone app. The only problem? They miscalculated what it should cost. The app is great and all, but it’s simply not worth $50 when you can use the website for free.
Today, they launched their first major update to the app, version 1.1, which brings with it one new feature: new keyboards. Specifically, Wolfram Alpha now has a “default” keyboard, a “math” keyboard, a “Greek” keyboard, and a “symbol” keyboard. As they describe it, “the specialized keyboards that greet you when you first open the Wolfram|Alpha App, have been painstakingly constructed to ease the burden of entering queries.” Fair enough, these are definitely nice to have for advanced queries. But do they justify the $50 price yet? Nope.
To be fair, Wolfram Alpha also launched some updated graphics and tables with the new version of the app, but it’s still all the same data you can get on the website — again, for free. And while they slyly removed the iPhone-optimized version of the website in an attempt to try and get people to buy the app, that still doesn’t appear to be happening in droves. In fact, the smartest calculation they’ve made was slashing the price down to the more reasonable $19.99 for the holidays (it’s now back at $49.99).
When compared to the just-released $1,000 iPhone app, BarMax, Wolfram Alpha may seem like a steal. But for the third time, all the Wolfram Alpha data is available for free on the web. And you can access it on your iPhone through the browser, it just won’t presented as pretty. I’m not saying they shouldn’t charge for the app; they should. But something a lot less than $50. BarMax may actually be worth the $1,000, but only because it’s replacing a program that costs $3,000 to $4,000.
Still, if keyboards are your thing, find the $50 Wolfram Alpha app in the App Store here.
Wolfram Research is building a computational knowledge engine called Wolfram|Alpha for the web to be launched in May 2009. The product will contain data in various fields including physical sciences, technology, geography, weather, cooking, business, music, etc. in order to provide answers to questions that users input. Its language interface will accommodate variations in how users frame their questions, such as the use of abbreviations. Wolfram Alpha’s vision is to create a system which can do for formal...
Apple’s iPhone was introduced at MacWorld in January 2007 and officially went on sale June 29, 2007, selling 146,000 units within the first weekend of launch. The phone has been hailed as revolutionary with its bundle of advanced mobile web browsing, music and video playback, and touch screen controls. The iPhone is exclusively carried on the networks of both AT&T and Verizon in the U.S. An iPhone can function as a video camera (video recording was not a standard feature...