How to Do Fractions on the iPhone

by Dan Ketchum

Alongside nearly 20 other built-in apps -- from Apple Maps to Siri to FaceTime -- the iPhone 5 includes Apple's Calculator application right out of the box. When you hold your iPhone vertically, in a position known as "profile mode," you may notice that it lacks a button for inputting fractions. Switching to landscape mode, on the other hand, essentially turns your iPhone into a scientific calculator, revealing a fraction key and other new functions.

Step 1

Tap the “Utilities” button from the iPhone's main screen, then touch the Calculator app's icon. Rotate your iPhone to a horizontal orientation -- known as landscape mode -- to activate the Calculator's scientific calculator mode, which makes new function keys appear.

Step 2

Enter numbers and mathematical symbols on the keypad as part of your equation. Use the “1/x” key to create fractions in which one is the top number, such as 1/4 or 1/2. For instance, if you want to enter 1/4 as part of your equation, type “1,” followed by “1/x” and “4” (omit quotation marks here and in subsequent typed commands).

Use the division symbol key, “÷,” to enter fractions in which the first number is not one. Use the parenthesis keys to denote these fractions. For instance, to type “3/4,” tap "(," “3,” “÷,” “4,” ")." So for the equation 1/4 plus 3/4, you'd type “1,” “1/x,” “4,” “+,” “(,” “3,” “÷,” “4,” “).” Once you've entered your equation, tap the “=” key to receive the answer.


  • Information in this article applies to the iPhone 5 running on iOS 6. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

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