The Google search engine has some very interesting and useful added features that a user can access right at their fingertips. It seems that someone got sick of shuffling around looking for a handheld calculator while online and decided that the google tool would make a great place to be able to perform calculations in a snap. Usage is simple. Type a simple math calculation into the search bar and Google responds.

Here is a step by step on the basics of using this feature. But the tool does not stop at the basics.

Google can be very helpful in accessing mathematical constants. Say you need to know what pi is to 5 decimal places. Type in pi and Google opens the calculator and provides pi to 11 decimal places while still providing a exhausting list of urls with pi reference in the content. You are also able to get trig information. Let's say you need the cosine of 45 degrees. Type in cosine of 45 degrees and Google provides the answer. You will notice that Google likes the phrase as cosine(45 degrees), which is consistent with most programmed functions. Be sure to include the term degrees as the Google calculator is based in radians and therefore assumes radians. Example - sine (45) returns ..8509 whereas sine (45 degrees) returns .7071.

Google also handles exponents, logarithmns and natural log questions for Calculus.

Try one to see. Type in log(90) and you get 1.9542. Same thing works for exponents. Try exp(8). Google returns the answer and the calculator.

The calculator app has a lot of functional buttons that you can use right there. Let's say you want the square root of 64. Select the sq button and then fill the brackets with the number, i.e. 64 and select the equals button and the answer is returned.

Need π r^{2} when r = 4. Simply select the π button then multiply button ( X) 4(r) then X^{Y }button and then 2 (exponent) and the answer is returned.

In the top left corner of the calculator you can change from radians to degrees so you can work trig functions in both terms. All you do is select degrees and the calculator hides the degrees button and expose the radians button to show that you are now working in radians.

It is nice to know that we have these kinds of tools available to us when we need them. Like most tools, a little practice can go a long way in making them a comfortable tool.