Calculator on Chrome OS is now a Progressive Web App

Calculator on Chrome OS is now a Progressive Web App

Google has been slowly moving away from legacy Chrome apps, now that platform-agnostic Progressive Web Apps are a capable replacement. The Calculator application on Chrome OS was one such legacy application, but starting with the recent Chrome OS 97 update, it has now become a PWA that you can use on any browser.

The new Progressive Web app is hosted at calculator.apps.chrome (via 9to5Google). It has a web manifest file with an icon and offline caching, so Chromium-based browsers can install it to your device. It also works just fine with any web browser, and functions almost identically to the old calculator. Basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division is available, as well as some more complex functions like square roots, logarithms, and exponents.

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Even though the calculator can now be used on any device with a web browser, it’s clearly still intended to be used on a computer — resizing the window to smaller sizes or a portrait orientation results in some controls being hidden.

The calculator is still styled to match older Material Design, complete with a corner wipe effect when you click the Clear button. Google hasn’t updated it yet to match the newer Material You design language, but it’s just a calculator, so it doesn’t really need to. There are also plenty of other math and calculator tools available on Chrome OS, if the default Calculator doesn’t do everything you need. Wolfram Alpha is my personal favorite.

This comes after many other changes and improvements to Chrome OS over the past few months, such as an in-development Shelf Share feature, camera improvements, enhanced integration with Android phones, and more voices for Select-to-speak. The platform is also dealing with (slightly) more competition, as Microsoft pushes Windows 11 SE in K-12 classrooms where Chromebooks have dominated for much of the past decade.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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