Get Wolfram Alpha app for $1.99--and a refund if you paid more

You remember Wolfram Alpha, right? It's the app that inexplicably cost 50 bucks. Finally the developers have come to their senses.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida

When it comes to math problems, Wolfram Alpha is smarter than the average search engine. Now it's affordable, too. Wolfram Alpha

One of the App Store's most notoriously expensive apps just got a price cut. Wolfram Alpha, which debuted last October for the fairly jaw-dropping price of $49.99, now sells for just $1.99 [iTunes link].

In case the name doesn't ring a bell, Wolfram Alpha made headlines last year as a supposed Google killer, a search engine that could perform "computational knowledge" tricks far beyond any other service.

In other words, as CNET's Rafe Needleman put it, "Google finds links. Wolfram Alpha finds answers." My own take: It's a search engine for math geeks.

In any case, there was widespread glee when Wolfram Alpha got the app treatment--followed by considerable head-scratching and some outright rage over its price. The $50 sticker seemed particularly insulting considering that you could enjoy much of the same functionality in your iPhone's Safari browser--for free.

According to a Wolfram Alpha blog post, the price cut is part of a "new focus on ubiquity" for the tool. And in an extremely wise marketing move, anyone who purchased the Wolfram Alpha app for $49.99 (or its one-time sale price of $19.99) can request a refund.

What do you think? Is the app suddenly looking a lot more attractive at $1.99? OK, that's a given, but now that it's reasonably priced, think you'll buy it? Hit the comments and share your thoughts.

Bonus deal: Speaking of price cuts, The Simpsons Arcade is on sale for 99 cents, down from $4.99. Woo-hoo!