PhotoStudy - Live Study Help

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
PhotoStudy - Live Study Help App Poster Image
Snap a picture, get homework help in math and science.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to solve math and science problems and learn the importance of effort in academic development as they work to understand the tutor's instructions or follow the equation solver.

Ease of Play

Just snap a photo and use the equation solver or the paid live tutoring. The time crunch created by the timer displayed on the top of the screen adds some unfortunate pressure.


Pay through iTunes per session or for SAT/ACT prep, or buy a package for a certain number of sessions, or pay $35.99 for a semester. Can also use "Autopay," which charges $3.99 per session, anytime. "Credit rewards" are earned each time you use the app on a different day; users can redeem eight credits for a free session. 

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that PhotoStudy - Live Study Help is a math, physics, and chemistry homework tutoring app, as well as an ACT/SAT prep source. For a fee, students can take a photo of their homework problem and then access 10-minute tutoring text chat sessions with a "vetted STEM Study Expert" within 30 seconds of the request. The tutors can help solve word problems as well as equations. The app's free photo Equation Solver provides explanations of many equations for free, so parents will want to talk to kids about when and how to use the app and not just get easy answers. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To use PHOTOSTUDY - LIVE STUDY HELP, first enter your grade information and name. Purchase a package with tutoring, or a test prep package, or use the chat bot tutorials. To use the tutoring, tap Ask Now for live help. Take a photo of the problem on which you're seeking help. Choose the description of the type of help you need. Choose the subject (basic algebra to calculus). Wait for the expert, and tap on the agreement not to share any personal information. After the tutor types a message to begin, type your responses to the tutor's comments and questions as he or she works through the type of help you're seeking. The number of minutes remaining in the paid help chat appear at the top of the screen. To use the chat bot, choose the concept you want to learn, and follow along as the app leads you through the automated lesson. Test prep packages include multi-day prep questions.

Is it any good?

For middle and high school students who need math and science homework assistance or daily SAT/ACT study prep, this app may be the ticket, depending on the tutor. From pre-algebra to trigonometry, chemistry, and more, PhotoStudy - Live Study Help has many options for help. Students clarify up front what kind of help they need: getting started, extra detailed steps, check steps they've already completed, or "I'm completely lost." One concern: PhotoStudy - Live Study Help's paid sessions have time limits of 10 minutes per session. Even though students can purchase another session at the end of that 10 minutes, the already-paid-for minutes that feel like they rapidly decline at the top of the screen during tutoring sessions may add anxiety-provoking time pressure for many students -- and perhaps for some of the tutors, too. If students prepare questions before starting a session and get an efficient -- and friendly -- tutor, this app could be a most welcome help to many students struggling to complete math and science homework. If the tutors a student gets are somewhat slow and not so nice (our experience during this review), the session could add to their frustration.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why PhotoStudy - Live Study Help requires users to pledge not to share any personal information during the live tutoring sessions. Read Common Sense Media's How do I keep my kid safe on the internet?

  • Talk about trying to solve the problem first, and then if you're stuck, preparing your questions before you get on the app to minimize the time pressure. Make sure kids don't use the app for easy answers.

  • Consider trying this app a couple of times before deciding whether it's right for your kid. Some tutors may explain how to solve problems in ways that are easier for your kid to understand than others.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions
    Math: algebra, calculus, equations, geometry
    Science: chemistry, physics
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: asking questions, problem solving
    Self-Direction: academic development, effort
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (in-app purchases $0.99 to $35.99)
  • Release date: October 13, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 59.90 MB
  • Publisher: GotIt! Inc.
  • Version: 4.0.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later
  • Last updated: October 20, 2020

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