Split the check

spiral check split appCheck it out: Spiral Design, a design studio based in Cohoes, has developed a tip calculator/bill-splitting app for the iPhone. From the app's description:

GratuitEaseâ„¢ is a simple, easy-to-use tipping calculator. Enter the bill sub-total, sales tax, select a tip percent, choose to tip on the sales tax or not and divide the total equally among friends.

As you might expect, there are a bunch of apps like this. What might set Spiral's apart is its interface, which is fun -- it's like a one of those old-school handwritten restaurant checks.

The app is 99 cents.

By the way: Snow Brawlin' -- the game app developed by Saratoga studio Ghost Hand Games -- was recently the #1 most downloaded game... in Eastern Europe.


Won't a regular calculator function (or "app" as you young people call it) do that? You know, multiply, divide.

Cool for non techies, but I can do that for free with the Excel that came on my Windows Mobile phone, as well as calculate grocery bills to the penny, graph MPG and expenses on my car going back to 2005, and it can tell me my age down to the minute. 23,420,266.25 minutes, if interested. It also makes for a handy on the fly calculator and it's long since replaced my checkbook register. I used an old fashioned app called "my brain" to write these.

I double the 7% sales tax on the bill and use that as a starting point.

Why is 10% even an option for a tip on this app? Unless you were very dissatisfied with service (in which case you should speak with a manager), anything under 15% is generally accepted as unfair. Not to mention that no one has an excuse for being so math challenged that they can't figure out 10% in their head.

chrisck- "Won't a regular calculator function (or "app" as you young people call it) do that? You know, multiply, divide."

Better yet, who needs any kind of computer to do this? Why not just use our brains. Move the decimal one place over you have 10 percent. Double it you have 20. Halfway between the two is 15. You can estimate 17, 18, etc from there.
If you can't handle that kind of math in your head, then you probably aren't exercising your brain enough.

Really? Can't this math be done in one's head? It isn't a wave equation or anything complicated.

Dang, look at the horde of haters coming out of the woodwork. Snow got you cranky?

Granted, I've never needed an app like this either -- if I can't figure it out in my head, we all have calculators on our phones -- but this one does look pretty nifty. I almost downloaded it for myself -- after all, it's only a buck -- but then I realized I probably wouldn't use it. Still, good job by Spiral Design, and good luck to them.

"Hater" seems to be a stock response these days. Can't see how it makes you a "hater" (a word that should be reserved for people like the Ku Klux Klan) to have a critical (meaning: thinking) view of the world around you. Okay, so somebody came up with a clever, albeit pointless, "app" and it's only a buck. Doesn't make it any less pointless.

(And, dang, Tim in Waterford, I love the snow. Just took my dog for a romp in it and even had fun shoveling the stuff.)

In general defense of the "Tip App" - they come in handy when you've had a couple to drink and would like to see a reasonable tip range.

I've found a Tip App (not this one, specifically) to be useful at a large family meal when having to split a $352 bill 13 ways.

Don't all cellphones have this feature? My LGs have had it since at least 2005.

I'm good with doing tip in my head, but I like to double check sometimes.

@chrisck: I may be guilty of using some of the popular slang of the day (to be honest, I'm a little surprised myself), but it just seems the collective response was rather extreme and I was moved to respond.

Another tip calculator app? Really?

i think it's cute and just downloaded it. thanks for the "tip". ha!

Thank you for all the feedback!

We agree it's not the most exciting iPhone app ever released. We developed this app just as a fun test project to get certified as an Apple iPhone Developer, to learn iPhone SDK development and to go through the Apple iTunes store submission process.

Some math you may not be able to do in your head can be handled by our just released RealtEaseâ„¢ mortgage loan calc app - this also a test project in our quest to master Objective C.

- The Team @ Spiral

Now that mortgage loan calc app just released sounds useful to me. To have something like that right in your hand when a realtor starts throwing numbers around at an open house, yes, quite helpful. I used to have to go home and do all that math online.

Thanks. We wrote the RealtEase app for just the reason you describe.

During the search for our new office building, it took our realtor several minutes with a scientific calculator to get the monthly mortgage payment. Then, there were the monthly expenses when comparing potential properties such as flood insurance for some Troy properties, taxes, utilities and other expenses that made some of cheaper properties more expensive in the long run. RealtEase is designed to be a Realtor's field app. (We used this app to evaluate and ultimately purchase our beautiful Second Empire Victorian property at 135 Mohawk St, Cohoes, NY)

The goals with both the GratuitEase and RealtEase apps were to create an intuitive interface and couple that with the ability to do each of the respective calculations quickly.

One of the major problems solved in the app development was the iPhone's built-in number pad does not contain a decimal point (A major oversight on Apple’s part and a PIA to deal with). To keep the code compact, we wrote a routine that automatically places a floating decimal point in, similar to an ATM machine.

For speed, each calculator updates the total as numbers are input so you don't have to click a "total" button.

Hopefully someone out there finds these apps useful and they find them better looking them some of their counter parts.

We love this comment: "In general defense of the "Tip App" - they come in handy when you've had a couple to drink and would like to see a reasonable tip range."

Upgrade thoughts: Maybe in a later version we can add a big "Call a Cab" button. LOL

Thanks all!
- The Team @ Spiral

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