App Review: PhotoMath

Moms and dads, if you haven’t heard about the app that lets you take a photo of a mathematics problem (say, in your kid’s homework) and then it works it out for you – AND shows you step by step how it did it – where have you been?

Because I don’t know about you, but my algebra knowledge is as stale as Cheese Curls the day after a birthday party.

Enter PhotoMath – the app that promises to elevate your Maths problem-solving skills to World War II code-breaker levels! As long as you nip into the bathroom to use it so that your kid doesn’t know you’re cheating.

In all seriousness, though, Photomath had me excited, and even more so because it’s free! When you open it for the first time, it starts with a quick tutorial that explains how to use it.

But, keep in mind, PhotoMath doesn’t support the following:

  • Handwritten equations (makes sense)
  • Quadratic equations
  • Functional equations
  • Equation systems
  • Calculus

So it’s more for your basic mathematics.

PhotoMath | DigiKids


We test the PhotoMaths app

To test the functionality, I called up some mathematics problems online. I didn’t even need to print problems out, I just pointed my phone’s camera at my computer screen, centred the maths problem in the field finder, and it immediately solved the problem. I didn’t need to take a photo of the problem.

I started with some simple equations:

PhotoMath | DigiKids PhotoMath | DigiKids


And then moved onto more complex maths problems:


PhotoMath | DigiKids  PhotoMath | DigiKids

You can re-size the field finder to fit the size of the equation, and when you hit ‘steps’, it shows you how it arrived at the answers. The two tests that I did were at a Grade 6 mathematics level, and only required one step each to solve.

I’ve got to say, I’m thoroughly impressed. And maybe even intimidated by the way this powerful technology is packaged in such a simple app. I remember, as a child, my grandmother would complain that we have it too easy, because we can use calculators to do basic arithmetic. With PhotoMath, I’m not sure my children will even need to learn standard formulas.

Imagine sneaking your smartphone into your Maths exam?

Verdict: Photomath is more than a novelty; it’s a must-have app for any parent to have on hand during homework sessions. And it’s free – so no excuses.

Note – PhotoMath is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Stacey Vee

Stacey Vee is one of South Africa’s top mommy bloggers, and a technology journalist who has written for Vodacom, Sports Illustrated, FHM, Incredible Connection, Girl Guides, Afropolitan, OnRoute, FNB’s internal magazine Siyasiza and more. She also founded the #iPadsforLionhearts charity, which encourages people to donate their 2nd-hand iPads to families... Read more


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