Wolfram Alpha rolls out $50 iPhone app

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Wolfram Alpha has rolled out a $50 iPhone app that allows users access to the "vast resources" of the computational knowledge engine. According to Wolfram, the pricey app is the "ultimate replacement" for almost any kind of calculator or reference book.

"The breakthrough technology of Wolfram Alpha lets [users] get expert-level answers to specific-free-form questions - complete with stunning dynamically generate visualizations and tables,” explained Wolfram. "The app plus directly into the Wolfram Alpha’s supercomputing cloud to deliver the knowledge engine to [a] mobile computing environment."

Wolfram Alpha iPhone app

The mobile version of Wolfram Alpha offers "instant" compute answers to thousands of questions, including finance, food, math, medicine, wordplay and weather.

Although Wolfram’s hefty $50 price tag has raised more than a few eyebrows, Darell Etherington of the Apple Blog opined that the company simply developed a "highly-polished" version of the engine targeted at professionals and businessmen capable of justifying the expense.

"So is the price of WolframAlpha for iPhone an example of absurd hubris on the part of its developers? I don’t think so. Don’t, however, try to tell me that the price is justified by added features or functionality, or that anyone other than an elite class of niche users would find enough value to merit the cost. The price will come down if Wolfram decides it wants to sell the app, so my advice is to just be patient if you’re anxious to get your mobile stats analysis on," added Etherington.