June 1, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 11)


Strong Points: Fast calculations, step-by-step solving
Weak Points: Can’t recognize handwriting




While perhaps blurring the line between educational tool and just outright cheating when it comes to your child’s math homework, the Photomath app is a cool concept as long as it’s used responsibly. With the app, users point the camera on their device to a printed math problem and the app will recognize the text and solve the problem. As a learning tool it is handy because in addition to just displaying the answer, the app also provides step-by-step instructions (via both equation and written description) for how to solve the problem. In its present form the app supports multiple problem formats including fractions, linear equations, equation systems, and logarithms. Even more advanced formats like integrals and derivatives can also be solved by the app, though the step-by-step problem solving isn’t available in the current version. One limitation to the app is that it can’t recognize handwriting, which seems like it limits its utility in a professional setting.

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