A preview of interactive Mathematica documents on iPad

February 17th, 2012 | Categories: iPad, mathematica, Mobile Mathematics | Tags:

The Wolfram blog has just published an article previewing the .cdf player on iPad.  I’ve discussed .cdf technology several times before (see Interactive Slinky Thing and Interactive Mathematics in the Web Browser for example) and it forms the basis of the superb Wolfram Demonstrations Project.

In a nutshell, it is trivially easy to write interactive mathematical applets using Mathematica and publish them to .cdf format.  The magic happens via the Manipulate command which has been around since version 6.  For example, here is the full source code for a simple interactive applet that calculates and displays the power series for sin(x)

 Series[Sin[x], {x, 0, n}]
 , {n, 1, 10, 1, Appearance -> "Labeled"}

Here is the result

Series demo

If you have Mathematica 8 or the free .cdf player installed with browser plug-in enabled then you’ll see a fully interactive applet above. Otherwise, you just get a simple image.

Bear in mind that this isn’t showing you a set of pre-computed solutions, it’s actually performing the calculations in real time using the full Mathematica kernel.  With this new player you’ll be able to do that on iPad as well as on your PC. That’s right…Wolfram have taken the full Mathematica kernel and got it running on iPad! It’s not shipping yet but it looks like it’s going to be awesome.

Just imagine…all 7000+ Wolfram Demonstrations on iPad, not to mention your own bespoke code.

There is a preview of the new technology in the video below.

Other articles on mobile mathematics from WalkingRandomly

  1. February 18th, 2012 at 19:33
    Reply | Quote | #1

    Thanks for the news. By the way is there any way to embed cdf into Mediawiki page?

  2. Szabolcs
    February 29th, 2012 at 13:03
    Reply | Quote | #2

    I am wondering, how powerful is the processor of an iPad (I don’t have access to one), and how much this will push WRI to make Manipulate more responsive (and the controls more reliable). That’d be good for everyone, including those of us who use it on the desktop. Admittedly, most of the time I see problems on a single-core machine, and I believe even the iPad has a multi-core CPU now?

  3. March 1st, 2012 at 14:46
    Reply | Quote | #3

    Ipad 1 is single core
    Ipad 2 is dual core
    Ipad 3 is currently unknown but rumoured to be quad core

    I’m sure that we’ll be able to get some benchmarks run via the .cdf interface

  4. Phil Earnhardt
    April 2nd, 2017 at 16:06
    Reply | Quote | #4

    Wolfram announced beta of Wolfram Language Player (AKA: CDF Player) for iPad in November 2016: http://blog.wolfram.com/2016/11/16/launching-wolfram-player-for-ios/ . This is clearly a total rewrite of what Theo Gray demoed at the O’Reilly TOC Publishing conference back in February 2012 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJfeKz4zJsk ). Any concerns about processing power in iOS have been eliminated years ago; the current A9X processor in iPad Pro is remarkably fast — over 10x faster than the original iPad CPU. https://youtu.be/pvcrmcfgcew?t=1m50s shows the numbers; the new iPad (replacing the iPad Air 2) is a tad faster than that device. It is the bargain high-performer in the iPad line. New iPad Pro units later this year should have a significant jump from the current Pro line.

    The only thing that can’t be done on this platform is authoring the CDF files. For that, one could get a Raspberry Pi 3, or author the CDF files on a Wolfram Cloud account. Wolfram provides a free full-blown version of their product for the Pi 3.