Need to divvy up that dinner bill between five people or track expenses on a weeklong business trip?
Sure, you can pop open the calculator app that comes with your smartphone to do the math. You can even jot down those amounts in your notepad app to remind you what you’re owed in case your cash-strapped friends are only packing plastic.
But if you want to skip all of that and let technology do the work, you could pick up a dedicated program that divides up the bill and adds in the tip with just a few taps.
We’re talking about check-splitting apps, which range from the supremely simple to the more calculatingly complex. Translation: There’s something for everyone out there—like these five standouts.
Tip N Split Calculator
The name of this free app for Android and iOS perfectly describes its function: It adds in the tip on the dinner bill and then splits the total evenly between everyone sharing in the meal. The Tip N Split Calculator interface is frills-free—just tap in the sum on the check, the tip percentage and the number of people dividing up the total cost. (You can also tap the calculator icon to open a full-screen calc for other minor math chores.) The one downside? The app doesn’t offer a built-in function for splitting the check unevenly.
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Unlike some apps that just divide the check evenly, Billr takes into account every item ordered by each person around the table (it can handle up to 16 diners), so individual tabs can be tallied. The $2 app for iOS and iPod Touch devices can also factor group expenses into each person’s total—like that bottle of robust Malbec that everyone enjoyed. As you tap through the screens, you can add in the amount of tax on the meal, and pick the tip percentage you deem worthy. Once the check has been split, you can pass the phone around the table for each person to cough up the cash—or put the whole meal on your card, and send your pals a customized bill by text or e-mail. Bonus tip: The free Advanced Bill Splitter app offers many of the same functions for Android-based phones.