Photomath: A Math Learning App

February 20, 2020

Woman using smartphone

For individuals with learning challenges, traditional approaches to studying math are often inadequate, and can leave the student feeling frustrated, disconnected, and ultimately will have a negative impact on the students sense of pride in their overall academic abilities. And, because math skills can be affected by a wide range of learning disabilities, such as dysgraphia, dyslexia, and dyscalculia, finding the right supports for the right student can be a real challenge.

The app that we are looking at today seeks to mitigate some of these challenges, and with a consistent top 5 rating in education on the Apple App Store, Photomath is positioned as a top contender among apps that seek to alleviate issues related to math and math-related learning disabilities.

Simply put, Photomath scans printed and handwritten math problems, and breaks down the equation step-by-step, not only providing the answer, but also explaining the methodology with which the answer was found. The app uses the built-in camera found in the user’s smartphone or tablet, and no additional hardware is required.

Photomath requires no internet or data to use, and the base version of the app is free. Also included in the base version of the app is an advanced scientific calculator, which can be used to freely calculate, solve, and break down any manually imputed math problem.

The app is clean, clutter-free, and very easy to use:

  1. Prepare your written equation and place it on a flat surface in a well-lit area.
  2. Open Photomath and position the viewfinder so that the entirety of the equation is positioned within the borders of the photo. To resize the capture, tap and hold the bottom right corner of the capture screen and drag it towards the sides of your screen.
  3. After the page is properly positioned, tap the red circle on the middle-bottom of the screen to capture it.
  4. Once captured, double check the app to make sure that the numbers and operators were properly captured. You may need to zoom in on your work to ensure a proper capture of your equation.
  5. Now that the capture is complete, Photomath will convert the written text into a digital equation and will instantly provide the answer.
  6. To see a break down of the answer, tap on “Show Solving Steps”, and tap on the individual steps to see a breakdown of the steps needed to solve the equation.
  7. That’s it! At this point, users have the option of either moving on to a new problem, or, they can choose to export the equation via AirDrop, Mail, OneNote, Claro, Voice Dream, etc.

Photomath is available for iOS and Android. While the base app is free, users can upgrade to Photomath+ for additional math tips and explanations, visual aids, and more. To access the free trial, click here(new window).