It was a surprise Raja Vijayaraman will never forget. When he packed his bags for Apple WWDC from Chennai, Raja has no idea he would be on stage receiving an Apple Design Award on Day 1 of the developer conference. His app Calzy, an elegantly designed calculator app, had been picked up by Apple for the awards and Raja had been flown in to San Jose without being told that he was a winner. So there Raja was on stage in his Rajnikanth T-shirt with the world watching his reimagining of the calculator.
“I had no idea. I thought I would be meeting people at WWDC,” says the unassuming man from Chennai. In fact, Raja’s story is a fascinating one. A mechanical engineer from Theni, he switched over to VFX a few years on and moved to Chennai where he worked on a few movies, even some starring Rajinikanth himself. “That’s when I bought my first iPhone and used apps. I taught myself about apps and even learnt to code,” says Raja, who is not sure if his time as a graphics artist is helping with his design thinking.
Either way, it is the out-of-the-box design concept behind Calzy that is blowing everyone away. In fact, Raja’s calculator is as simple as a calculator can be and there is nothing there that does not need to be there. So he removed the memory functions and created his own flow for the same with drag and drop. He’s also added an expression view, where you can see all the steps you are following. There is a scientific calculator too, but hidden away behind settings which is pulled up using 3D touch.
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The Calzy 3 app is priced Rs 159 and is available only on iOS, but across works across all Apple devices from the Mac to Apple Watch. In fact, the app from Raja’s WapleStuff works as a Today Widget and even an iMessage extension.
Another interesting feature is the bookmark option for earlier calculations you might have done, along with the ability to put those behind a password. Also, everything about the app is customisable and you can even set a button to calculate a specific tax on the amount.
Raja is a one-man army and does everything himself. Calzy was first launched in 2014 and the latest version is a full revamp of the earlier one. Though flooded by requests for more features, Raja is certain he wants to keep it as simple as possible. This calculation is clearly working for Calzy.
Disclaimer: The writer is in San Jose attending WWDC 2018 at the invite of Apple India