Father and daughter’s calculator app flies to the top of Amazon Android charts

14 Jan 2013

Aidan Hughes shows off the successful calculator app

A calculator app called Calculator Plus designed by a Dublin father and his 13-year-old daughter based in the US is currently at the top of the Amazon App charts and is the No 1 calculator app for the Kindle Fire tablet computer. The app achieved 1m copies downloaded at the end of December.

The app, which has recently been named by USA Today as one of its essential Kindle Fire apps, is now being pre-installed by Amazon on all of its shop demo models across the US.

The app was create by Aidan Hughes and his 13-year-old daughter Isabel and is the third highest rated app in all categories out of a total of almost 65,000 apps on the Android App Store.

Their Windows 8 version, Calculator Free, is already the most downloaded calculator on that platform after just a month.

Just a fraction of their success so far

A former software developer for Microsoft, Aidan Hughes started app firm Digitalchemy and this is the second success for the father-and-daughter team, who have also invented a unique way to work with fractions.

Fraction Calculator was conceived by the duo while Isabel was doing her maths homework in Seattle, Washington.

“After a page of checking answers to fraction problems, we were both exhausted!” said Aidan (41) originally from Raheny.

“I knew there had to be a better way, and I thought of a fraction calculator with three keypads that would be fast and easy”.

The app has two great features not found elsewhere: An innovative three-keypad layout to enter fractions and a large, easy to read, display that shows fractions the way you write them.

Fraction Calculator was recently released on the Amazon Kindle Fire, where it rapidly rose to the No 1 paid calculator spot. It’s been in the top 5 ever since. 

“The beauty of the new Calculator Plus app is that it remembers everything you calculate, which makes it perfect for running a bunch of tasks in tandem over a long period of time,” said Aidan.

“Again it came from Isabel and I bemoaning the fact that you lose everything when you turn a calculator off.”

And for iPad, Aidan and Isabel have two apps: Easy Fraction Calculator, with beautiful backgrounds, and Fraction Calculator Plus that includes a handy ruler for woodworkers.

Hughes began his foray into the world of computers at the age of 12 by programming a baking game for his brother Kevin, who suffers from epilepsy.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years