PopMath Basic Math

App review by
Jonathan H. Liu, Common Sense Media
PopMath Basic Math App Poster Image
Solve math problems by popping bubbles floating on screen.

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

Educational Value

Kids can test their knowledge of simple arithmetic expressions. Kids may also deduce some test taking skills like leaving harder problems for last. While kids can choose to use one operator or all four at once and values gradually increase, actual learning tools and variety are lacking. PopMath works like dynamic digital flash cards, but overall functionality is limited.

Ease of Play

PopMath is simple and intuitive: some bubbles have problems, and others have answers. Tap two that match, and they disappear from the screen. The currently-selected bubble turns yellow, but with all the other colors it's not a very noticeable difference; perhaps a changed outline would be easier to distinguish visually.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that PopMath Basic Math will challenge their kids to solve basic arithmetic problems by popping bubbles that bounce around the screen. The idea is to match a bubble showing the correct answer to a bubble showing an equation by popping them in sequence. Kids can choose to drill addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division -- or all four at once.

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What's it about?

It's a simple concept: match four sets of expressions and answers all floating in colorful bubbles. Kids tap either answer or expression first. Bubbles pop and disappear and kids gain points for accuracy and speed. Kids can choose individual operators or all four at once. The app remembers level kids attain; unfortunately, kids can't go back without starting over from level 1.

Is it any good?

PopMath Basic Math presents the player with four pairs of bubbles, bouncing around in front of various colorful backgrounds. Each bubble has a simple arithmetic problem or a solution; tapping a matching set makes it pop and disappear. After each level, the app reports the time taken and number of mistakes made, and then advances to the next level. The player can select addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or all four at once. There's also a slider for the maximum number allowed, from "Table of 2" to "Table of 12" to "Any number."

The challenge is solving the problems as they move around the screen as quickly as possible, particularly when all four operators are in play at once. Other than increasing the maximum numbers, however, the game does not present any new challenges and children may find it boring after some time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Take turns telling arithmetic stories with your kids: "There were five fish and two swam away. How many were left?"

  • Ask your older kids to find matrixes around the house (muffin tins, sheets of labels).

  • Show your older kids how to divide marbles or cards into groups with the same number of parts.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Math: arithmetic
  • Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, work to achieve goals
  • Price: $.99
  • Release date: December 19, 2009
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 0.60 MB
  • Publisher: AppBlit LLC
  • Version: 1.7
  • Minimum software requirements: OS 2.2.1 or later; Android 1.6 and up
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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