Photomath - Camera Calculator

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Photomath - Camera Calculator App Poster Image
Point, scan, solve support tool; watch for cheating.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

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.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

There are a couple of references to the paid version and how it can improve grades.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Photomath – Camera Calculator is a resource that kids can use to solve mathematical problems. Simply point a device, such as an iPad, toward a problem. The device's camera then scans the problem and produces the solution within seconds. The free version shows the steps for solving a problem. However, more detailed explanations of the steps are available with a paid subscription. While it could be a great learning support tool, there's a risk that kids could use the app as a shortcut to completing assignments. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKatestar August 6, 2018

This free app is brilliant!

This app is fantastic! I have read concerns about how it could assist children to cheat which is true, but the benefits for children that use it appropriately a... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byheidixie4 March 26, 2018

No autofocus

This app is sometimes but yet other times not helpful and helpful. It is frustrating that devices have to have a good auto focus or else you can't use the... Continue reading

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.

App details

For kids who love math and homework help apps

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