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Wolfram|Alpha Mobile

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Wolfram|Alpha, the Computational Search Engine, has made its service available through mobile applications with most of the functionality of the full Web site. This review covers the iOS, Android, and Nook versions. It will also discuss the implications for students across all disciplines. These applications from the Wolfram Research Organization are based on the data from its proprietary algorithms and corpus of knowledge. Wolfram has hand-curated sources across many disciplines to provide data and instant mash-ups across both public and private data sets, such as GDP data and stock data. As these computations are on-the-fly, the results can be based on geo-location and other factors. An important advantage of the application on touch screen devices is the inclusion of a special Wolfram|Alpha keyboard to easily add non-standard characters needed for scientific calculation, such as Greek letters, and symbols that are not available on standard keyboards of these mobile devices (Figure 1).

The app brings the computational engine to mobile devices in a clear format that is easy to read. The results from the application’s computations could be considered primary sources. The app for iOS was launched October 18th, 2009 and has been updated continuously since its launch. The Android version launched October 6, 2010, and was available on launch for the Kindle Fire.

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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