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Friday, October 24, 2014

PhotoMath App Will Do Your Homework for You

Math class is tough, right?
PhotoMathFor those who truly have no interest in expanding their mathematical knowledge, or want to speed through their math homework, a new app might do the trick. With PhotoMath, iOS and Windows Phone users can point their phone at a math problem, which the app will examine using the device's camera, and spit out the answer on screen.
An Android version is expected next year.
"It makes math easy and simple by educating users how to solve math problems," according to app creator Microblink.
Indeed, the app does show its work, breaking down how it got to a particular answer. But that, of course, might just make it easier for math-averse students to cheat on their homework. Presumably phones are not allowed during in-class tests, but I haven't actually been in a math class since 1998 (programmable graphing calculators ftw!), so who knows?
Right now, the app supports arithmetic expressions (plus sign, division, etc.), fractions and decimals, powers and roots, and simple linear equations.
A quick test on iOS produced mixed results. An easy addition problem (230 + 230 + 230 + 230) returned the correct answer. But the app did nothing with a more advanced problem (pictured above), though perhaps that one did not qualify as a simple linear equation.
Right now, the app does not support hand-written math problems, so you'll have to focus it on problems in a math book rather than scribbles in your notebook.

Madhav Biju

Author & Editor

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