By Debbie Gorrell,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Point, scan, solve support tool; watch for cheating.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn how to evaluate expressions and solve equations and inequalities, including fractions, integers, decimals, linear equations, and more. Each basic step of a solution is shown, which helps kids understand the process for solving a multistep problem. In the paid version, explanations are given for each step. Keep in mind that some kids will try to use the app as a "cheat sheet," so supervision may be needed.
Ease of Play
Design is simple and makes it easy to navigate, but holding the camera steady enough so a problem can get scanned takes a little practice.
Products & Purchases
There are a couple of references to the paid version and how it can improve grades.
Parents Need to Know
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
Based on 5 parent reviews
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What’s It About?
PHOTOMATH – CAMERA CALCULATOR is just what the name implies: Simply aim a device's camera at a math problem, making sure the problem fits within the rectangular scanning field. The app scans the problem and displays a stepped-out solution within seconds. With the handwriting recognition feature, kids can write their problems on paper, and the app will scan and solve them as long as the handwriting is neat enough. There's also a calculator for entering problems manually. By pinching and dragging the rectangle, kids can resize the scanning area. They can also edit problems and share via web links.
Is It Any Good?
This easy-to-use app is a useful support tool that shows the steps involved in solving math problems, but parents should make sure that kids don't use it as a shortcut for completing assignments. There's a brief intro tutorial that walks users through features, and a help section answers common questions and allows users to submit their own questions. Photomath - Camera Calculator supports many types of math problems, but there's a moderately long list of problem types it does not support. Although the free version is quite handy, the subscription version provides detailed explanations of solutions, is reasonably priced, and could really help struggling kids if used properly. A feature for solving geometry and graphing problems would be a great addition.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the importance of using Photomath – Camera Calculator as a learning support tool rather than a shortcut. Kids should not depend on the app to complete assignments; instead, they should use it to help them understand the steps involved in solving math problems.
Challenge kids to solve problems on their own first and then use the app to check their answers. If an answer is incorrect, have them look at each step of the solution to find out where they went wrong.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Math: algebra, arithmetic, equations, functions
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: memorization, problem solving, Self-Direction: academic development, Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: December 21, 2016
- Category: Education
- Publisher: Photomath, Inc.
- Version: 3.0.4
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
- Last updated: July 19, 2019
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