Wolfram Alpha and The Appification of Search

May 2, 2012

Bye bye boolean. The Verge informs us, “Wolfram Alpha Now Available as a $2.99 PC App.” The innovative “computational knowledge engine” app, already available for iOS at the same price, can now be purchased at Intel‘s AppUp market. The announcement states:

“It appears to be largely the same [as the iOS version] in terms of functionality, but there’s been a few interface tweaks to better fit the larger screen. Wolfram Alpha says that the app has been specifically tailored for laptops and ultrabooks. Of course, you can already access the search engine on your computer for free via the website, but the new app appears to provide a nice midway point between the basic service and Wolfram Alpha Pro, which comes with a monthly fee.”

The Pro version of Wolfram Alpha costs $4.99 per month ($2.99 for students.) The first advantage over the free version lies in the ability to launch a search using images, files, or your own data in addition to simple text. The resulting reports are also more extensive and more readily exportable to a variety of formats. See the link in the above quote for an extensive discussion of the Pro product.

For those unfamiliar with Wolfram Alpha, the service introduced a new angle into the world of search when it launched in 2009. Other Web search engines just retrieve a list of relevant Web sites; this application connects the dots, analyzing data with its Mathematica product. Its functionality has been famously incorporated into Apple‘s Siri.

Cynthia Murrell, May 2, 2012

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