Wolfram Alpha offers a wealth of features, but a question that gets asked frequently is ‘why?’ as most users are unsure as to how they would apply a specific function to their everyday lives because the example library the app provides is very comprehensive.
I find myself using these ten queries with Wolfram Alpha or Siri almost every day:
- Use the query ‘time since’ followed by a date and it will show you how long it has been in a variety of measurements. This is great for figuring out how long you have been in a relationship for or how long it’s been since your car was last serviced!
- I edit CSS on a daily basis doing website development, Wolfram Alpha allows me to find the hexadecimal colour codes for whichever colour I write in the field. This is also particularly useful for finding the RGB value at a glance. Wolfram Alpha can also show you complimentary colours which is useful for building user interfaces first thing in the morning to get the prototype ready.
- Entering the domain name of a website shows you information about it such as where it hosted, with who and if the traffic statistics have been made publicly available then you can read those too, this is particularly useful for quickly checking out the competition whilst working with a client.
- If you ask ‘where am I?’ on the iOS app, Wolfram Alpha will show you where you are on a map, your nearest city center and its population, other nearby cities, current local time and weather, nearby services and nearby points of interest.
- Enter the name of a well known public figure or even a fictional character and it will show you some interesting facts about them.
- If you input a piece of mathematical formulae, it will work it out and give you the answer.
- Uploading a text file approximates how long it would take to read it or how long it would take to read it aloud, this is great for gauging speeches or articles.
- Uploading an audio file can show you more about the sample rate, bit depth, sample encoding, channels and file size, you can even view a graphical waveform of the uploaded audio, this can really save time if you don’t fancy loading up Pro Tools HD and connecting your project drive.
- If you enter the name of a place in the world, it will show you its names, flag, geographic information such as bordering countries and regions, capital cities, population statistics and the local currency.
- Enter the name of a popular music artist and Wolfram Alpha will list some interesting information about them. The Who? They’ve been active since 1964.
Do you have an unusual or interesting uses for Wolfram Alpha or Siri? Let us know in the comments!