Photomath: The App That Does Your Math For You


I look at the Photomath app, and I get very sad. Not that it will make future generations stupid or any such nonsense. No, I am mad that it didn’t exist while I struggled through algebra. That was essentially a semester I spent barely treading water, and knowing this would exist one day would’ve eased that struggle a bit. All you do is take a photo of the math problem and the app does all the work. A thing of true beauty.

From TechCrunch:

The app has accumulated 11 million downloads on iOS and Windows Phone, and people are still using it. In January alone, it was used to solve 8 million math problems. And now, it is available on Android. It is still free and should resonate well with high school kids who have a cheap Android phone.

So it is exactly what you think it is, and if you are as old as me, you are probably as sad as me this didn’t exist when you needed it most. Good to know future generations will be spared the true horror of algebra, though.


One Response to Photomath: The App That Does Your Math For You

  1. Haven’t tried it yet but it looks like a nice piece of computer vision to begin with and it’s great that it breaks the calculations down into steps. So far the demo shows simple equations. I’m curious how it tackles more complex problems (which could have different methods of achieving the same result). So far I see the app only support a small set of simple problems. Grouping of values labeled by colours or annotations could make it easier to understand the flow.

    The only scenario I see this as sad is cheating on an exam or something like that.
    I see this as potentially very beneficial. If each student is blessed with a talented, passionate and patient tutor, this app would lose relevance. On top of that, we all learn in different ways.
    An ex-colleague of mine would’ve just ‘get it’ when we were in the Math class and he didn’t need to revise the notes from class to solve homework, where as I sometimes would end up reading the notes over and over again it ‘clicked’. Not all of us are analytical thinkers, but that’s a skill that can be learned/picked up. For us visual thinkers, having simpler annotated breakdowns of problems, would help immensely and this app has the potential of doing that. In real life, educating a large group of people probably means using a common denominator and time is precious so breaking it down as simple as possible for everyone might not be an option with the current system.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.