One of the more useful applications for any phone is a tip calculator, so it is no surprise that with the launch of the iPhone App Store, there have been quite a few tip calculators released for the iPhone. We put ten iPhone tip calculators to the test, pitting them against each other to see which tip calculator is the best of the bunch. Join us as we find the best iPhone tip calculator apps.
Tip calculators for the iPhone range in price from free to $1.99, with the majority costing $0.99. All offer the ability to enter the amount of your check and designate a tip percentage. Some offer the ability to “Split the Bill”, a feature that surprisingly wasn’t included in all the apps. The biggest difference I found among the Tip Calculator apps was the method of input for the check, how you set the tip percentage and the graphics. Let’s take a look at each app!
CheckPlease is one of two free iPhone tip calculators avaiable in the iPhone App Store. The look of the app is abysmal. It looks like a port of a cellphone app to the iPhone. Using a slider, you adjust the tip percentage. The slider is small and it just did not feel like an iPhone app. Pressing the ‘i” revealed the ability to turn on “Expert Mode”. In expert mode, CheckPlease displays the check total and subtracts the tax based on the percentage you entered. Probably more information that most will need considering your check will probably contain this info. All in all, it does calcuate tips, offer the ability to change or set tip percentages and split the bill. It’s not elegant, but it is free.
CheckPlease iPhone tip calc
iTip offers a clean, if not dull interface, but gets the job done. Entry of your check amount is done via the iPhone keyboard. iTip also offers a “service slider”, where you can boost your tip by sliding towards the “thumbs up”. This must be enabled in the options by turning on “Qualitative Tipping”. Here you can enable Tax to be displayed, but you cannot set your default tax %. I found the slider to be very sensitive and it was difficult to drag it to precisely 20%. I’m guessing the developer knew this and thus “Qualtitive Tipping” is turned off by default. Luckily, there are a few preset tip percentages and you can bring up the iPhone keyboard to enter a different percentage. The app also displays the round up and round down numbers. Splitting the bill is as easy as tapping 1, 2, 3, 4 or manually enter the amount. iTip offers nice options, but they need to work on the Qualitative Tipping slider.
With qualitative tipping enabled, you can slide the percentage based on quality of service
BigTipper is the most unique interface out of those I tested. There are three rows (Tip, Split, Check). Just touch the row and it’s selected. The first two rows allow you to set the tip or split amount using either the slider or the handy keypad at the bottom of the iPhone. Where this is different from other apps is the use of an actual keypad. The other apps used either the iPhone keyboard entry or a “wheel based” entry reminiscent of a slot machine. BigTipper also offers options to round up or down automatically. You can also opt to turn on the tax option and Big Tipper will compute the tip based upon the pre-tax check total.
BigTipper’s big menus and super-fast entry via the keypad make this app a big winner.
BigTipper is the only tip calc to include a key pad for fast entry
With BigTipper, you can also set to round up/down and set the tax rate
Gratuity uses the slot machine wheel for input entry. While it’s novel, it’s also a bit of a hassle, especially with this app. You select the dollar amount and the change amount. If you’re bill happens to be 225.96, you had better order dessert while spinning the wheels. Gratuity uses a star based system that is customizable. For example, you can set 4 stars as 20%, 5 stars as 25% and so on. If you need to split the bill, you had better break out the calculator. Gratuity is missing what should be a option on all paid iPhone tip calculator apps.
Novel tip rating system, but time consuming to calculate and lack of options make Gratuity a 2 star app.
QuickTip uses the iPhone keyboard to enter your check amount and then you use a tip slider to determine the percentage tip. The slider starts at 15% and there is no option to change the default setting. QuickTip offers a round up and round down feature, but even with my math skills I probably would not use that option. QuickTip offers a “reset” feature, which clears your entry and tip percentage. Again, you had better pick up the bill or break out a calculator if you plan on dining with friends. QuickTip does not include the option to split the bill.
Tipper (Tip Calc)
TipCalc or it’s alter ego Tipper uses the slot-machine wheel to select the dollar amount. For those seeking accurate tip numbers, you’ll have to look elsewhere as TipCal doesn’t let you input the change. If you’re bill is $87.50, you’ll have to decide to tip on $86 or $87. While it won’t break the bank, it’s sort of the purpose of having a tip calculator. TipCalc will let you choose between 10%, 15%, or 20%. There is no place to customize your tip percentage. One saving grace, it does offer the ability to split the bill.
TipCalc takes the “calc” out of TipCalc. Seems like the old adage of “double the tax” might even be more accurate.
With TipCalc, you cannot select the actual check amount and you are limited to pre-set tipping percentages.
To make things even more confusing, there are two versions of TipCalc. One being Tip Calc (which is the same app as Tipper reviewed above) and the other being the free TipCalc. The free version uses the iPhone keyboard to input your check amount and then you slide to your preferred tip percentage. The downside to this app is that you have to press “Calculate” in order to get your tip amount, where others automatically calculate the number. Tip Calc also offers the ability to split the check. It will not save your default tip percentage, but rather it defaults to 18%.
Tip Calc is the best of the free tip calculator apps and easily wins over CheckPlease. While it doesn’t auto calculate, the sliders work very well and it performs as advertised.
Tips uses the iPhone keyboard for entry of your bill total and the slider to determine your tip percentage based upon your service. A second slider allows you to split the bill based upon the people in your party. You cannot set the default on the tip slider. The interface is clean, vivid and the big display would make it easy to read in a dark restaurant. In fact, tip well because your waiter or waitress could probably see it from their station.
Tips is simple, yet well done tip calculator. Priced on the high end (at least for tip calculators), you should have the capapbility to set certain default preferences, especially for something as critical as your tip percentage.
Tips makes good use of the full screen of the iPhone and the sliders work well.
Tipulator is by far the best looking tip calculator I’ve ever used. The attention to detail when they designed this app is stellar. It combines good looks with some nifty features and sounds. When you select “Check Amount”, you use the slot machine wheels to enter your check amount. Each number has it’s own dial, so it’s much easier to select an 8 and 6 than navigating from 0 to 86. Tipulator will use your last known tip percentage, which is in effect setting up a default. When you go from Check amount to Tip, the bottom half of the screen scrolls right to reveal the proper wheel. The audio just adds to panache of this Tip Calculator. The author also has included common recommendations for tipping based upon your level of service (Poor, Fair, Average, Great and Super. My favorite however is “No Tip” which I found humorous. Other options for rounding up and down are included.
Tipulator is a beautiful looking application and certainly offers all the features you would want in a tip calculator. Priced in the middle of the pack, I highly recommend it. Looks great and the neat interface is something you will not find on any other phone.
Unlike the other slot machine type selectors, it’s easier to select the amount since each digit has a wheel
TipTap uses the iPhone keyboard for the check amount and makes use the slot machine wheel for entering your tip percentage. Thankfully, there is an option to set your default tip percentage. TipTap does not allow you to split the bill. Unlike Tips, the area that displays the tip amount and total are small.
Tiptap is a bare bones tip calculator. It’s interface is ok and I certainly welcome the ability to set my default tipping preference. That in mind, once again an app forgets that the owner might bring friends and they might want to split the bill.
Simple, clean interface are highlights of TipTap
And the Winner Is…
Nobody likes a tie, but indeed the iPhone Tip Calculator Smackdown has resulted in a draw between Tipulator and Big Tipper. Tipulator gained high marks for it’s graphic appeal, array of options, sound effects and overall usuability. Big Tipper’s interface was unique from all the competitors and it was by far the fastest at calculating a tip due to the entry methods employed. Both apps are highly recommended. If you own one of the above apps, be sure to share your review in our iPhone App Review directory.