Conversion tools are great little apps to have on your iPhone or iPod Touch simply because of how useful they can be at the right time. With a few taps, you can convert such categories as temperature, speed, length and area. Some apps convert the basic, most used categories while others can convert just about anything you want to throw its way. HiConverter – A Comprehensive Unit Converter and Tip Calculator, developed by Chillingo, is just such an app. With over 3000 units and 108 categories to convert, the majority of users’ needs are more than likely to be covered.
On the main screen, you will find icons of categories very much like the iPhone’s own springboard setup. Tapping each icon will open up the conversion screen, where you can input the value you want converted via the number pad at the bottom. Tapping on the red arrows will open up a drop down list for the units under a category. From the screenshot above, I had entered 38 as my value. Since Fahrenheit is highlighted yellow, HIConverter will convert the other two units based on this unit and value. If you tap on the Celsius row, the value of 38 will take on this new unit and convert 38 degrees into Fahrenheit and Rankine. This idea works in the same way for all other categories and I find it well implemented.
There are so many units I have never even heard of and will most likely never use, but the two that I find very handy are the currency converter and tip calculator. Within the currency converter, you can update the exchange rates to provide more accurate results. There are apps that charge money just to do ONE of these functions. HIConverter includes both of them along with all the other functions. Very nice indeed. Chillingo also gives users the option to move the icons around on the main screen so that all your favorite categories can arranged near the top. You can even create your own category icons if the default ones are not to your liking.
I did encounter some issues that could affect other users as well. The sliders found in the tip calculator to change the tax percentage, tip % and number of people are extremely small and close together. There were times when I needed multiple attempts before I was able to move it to the exact value I wanted. Making use of the number pad as opposed to the slider would probably have worked better. Another issue I had was with the drop down value of the available units. Some categories have so many units that it is a pain to scroll all the way down just to get to units found on the bottom of the list. For volume alone there were 77 units. One final and minor issue is if you use the metric system and want to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit, HIConverter for some reason does not allow you to enter negative values. So if you want to input -3 degrees Celsius, you are out of luck.
All in all though, HIConverter is a fully loaded conversion app. I would be very surprised if it didn’t support a unit you want converted. Chillingo has taken no chances and seems to have included every unit imaginable. For $0.99, this may very well be the only converter you need on your iPhone.