Soulver for iPad

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
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Powerful calculation app may be overkill for some students.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Soulver for iPad is more of a productivity tool and math calculator than an educational app. It helps users solve simple and more complex story problems related to percentages, statistics, currency exchange, variables, and more. Depending upon your kid's level of math education, this app could either be a useful tool for homework help or a way to cut corners. If kids use the app for problems their teachers ask them to do on their own, it could be counter-productive to learning. Soulver for iPad can help kids learn math concepts, but they should be careful not to let this high-tech calculator do all the thinking for them.

Ease of Play

Unless kids already have a good handle on basic math computation as well as next-step math problems, such as percentages and some algebra vocabulary, this app may be confusing. That said, there's an excellent tutorial within this app to help users utilize all of its functions.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Soulver for iPad is a powerful math app that may be more powerful than most kids, even teens, need unless they are taking accounting courses in high school or traveling and need to perform quick money exchange rates. The most unique aspects of this tool are that it allows words to be used alongside numbers to help solve complex word problems, users can send problems via email, and it pulls the exchange rates of various currencies from around the world on an hourly basis.

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What's it about?

Using the keypad and the tabs on the left side of the screen (which act as a sort of menu for different types of problems), users enter the words, numbers, and operations related to the problem they want to solve. SOULVER FOR IPAD presents the solution simultaneously on the right side of the same screen. Users add new lines to continue calculations and previous calculations will remain on the screen along with a running total on the bottom for all lines.

Is it any good?

Soulver for iPad is unquestionably a good productivity and business tool. The question remains: Is it worth the price for most kid or teen math students? Depending upon what level of math your kid is currently studying or how interested your teen is in accounting- or money-related math, this tool will either be confusing or fascinating, helpful or overly so.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Review with your kids the difference between using tools, such as calculators, to assist in problem solving vs. using them to think for you.

  • Talk about different daily tasks for which an app like this may be helpful (balancing a checking account, for example).

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Math: algebra, arithmetic, functions, money, statistics
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release date: July 25, 2012
  • Category: Other
  • Size: 3.60 MB
  • Publisher: Acqualia
  • Version: 1.6.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later

For kids who love math

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