Unit Converter Calculator App on the BlackBerry PlayBook

By Corey Sandler

You can perform simple conversions with the Unit Converter calculator on the BlackBerry PlayBook, like figuring out that 100 km/hr is not quite as fast as it sounds, equaling only 62.137 mph or a mere 53.996 knots on the water.


You work the converter like an old-fashioned slot machine, except that you get to select the position of the reels using your finger. Select a type of measurement in the first column, the source measurement in the second, and the conversion output in the third. Here are the available inputs and outputs:

  • Angle. Degrees, gradians, and radians.

  • Area. Square area for millimeters, centimeters, meters, kilometers, inches, feet, yards, miles, hectares, and acres.

  • Data. Bits, kilobits, megabits, gigabits, terabits, bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes.

  • Energy. BTU, calories, kilocalories, ergs, ft lbf (foot pound-force), joules, Nm (Newton metres), Wh (watt hours), and kWh (kilowatt hours.)

  • Length. Millimeters, centimeters, meters, kilometers, inches, feet, yards, and miles.

  • Power. BTU/min, ft lbf/min, ft lbf/sec, horsepower, kW (kilowatts), W (watts), and Nm/s.

  • Pressure. atm (atmospheres), bars, mm Hg (millimeters of Mercury), kgf/cm2 (kilogram force per square centimeter), Pa (Pascals), psf (pounds per square foot), and psi (pounds per square inch.)

  • Speed. Knots, m/s (meters per second), km/h (kilometers per hour), ft/s (feet per second), and mi/h (miles per hour.)

  • Temperature. Centigrade, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin.

  • Time. ns (nanoseconds), s (microseconds), ms (milliseconds), seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years.

  • Volume. cu in (cubic inches), cu ft (cubic feet), cup, US fl oz (US fluid ounce), gal (Imp), gal (US), liters, cubic centimeters, cubic meters, pt (Imp), pt (US), qt (Imp), qt (US), tbsp (tablespoon), and tsp (teaspoon).

  • Weight. mg (milligram), g (gram), kg (kilogram), t (ton), oz (ounce), lb (pound), and st (stone).

The weight conversion identified as tons appears to refer to metric tons, although it isn’t identified as such in the original release of the BlackBerry PlayBook operating system. And in any case, the calculation for tonnage doesn’t precisely match a conversion into U.S. pounds.