It’s simple math: 1+2+3=6. But, apparently, if you type that equation into iOS 11’s Calculator really quickly, you’re more likely to get 24 as an answer.
This “bug” has been getting quite a bit of attention recently, but it’s been around in iOS 11 for quite a while.
Basically, the Calculator app’s animations experience some lag when you type in numbers in quick succession. This lag can result in certain numbers being ignored entirely.
If you have iOS 11 installed on your device, you can try it yourself. Type 1 + 2 + 3 and hit equal as fast as you can. More likely than not, you’ll get some random answer instead of 6. It’s not just that equation, either. It all comes down to typing in numbers quickly.
Of course, this is a bug — but not necessarily a major one. Some media outlets have sensationalized the issue, calling iOS’s Calculator “useless.” That’s hardly true. It’s a bit annoying, but it’s not an app-breaking glitch.
To be fair, the “fade” animation speed for the iOS 11 calculator is noticeably slower than the animation for the Calculator in iOS 10 and previous versions of the operating system. But it’s not necessarily the animation speed that’s at fault, it’s how that animation interacts with the app’s ability to register inputs. Specifically, it seems to be caused by pressing an operator button (like plus or minus) more than once in a single equation.
But even with the bug, the iOS 11 Calculator app isn’t “useless” by any means. When typing equations out at normal speeds, the app will still give you the correct answers. Until the animation issue is fixed, it’s just a matter of slowing down a bit.
Users who are reliant on the Calculator bug will be glad to know that Apple is aware of the issue, as Apple employee Chris Espinosa notes that over 70 people have filed a Radar report on it. We’ll probably see a fix in the next iOS 11 update.
How to Workaround This Bug
In the meantime, just type equations slower. If that’s absolutely not an option, you can download a third-party app like Calcbot 2 and PCalc — or just get Siri to do your math for you.