Photomath App Review

In recent years, the Photomath app has really taken the world of educational apps by storm. Not only can it give you answers to math problems, so students can check their work, but it also shows the user the steps involved in working out the answer.

App Overview

This award-winning app has been downloaded over 220 million times. It has quickly become the most used math learning app in the whole world!

It’s most often used by students alongside their homework. Students can check their answers, or if the student does not know how to work out the answer, the app can show them how. And, as you may imagine, this can also help students practice for their exams.

Photomath also received a Netexplo Forum Award in 2015 for its work in educational technology.  And it also won the 4YFN competition in Barcelona.

App Availability

The Photomath app is available on Android devices such as smartphones and tablets through the Google Play store, and it’s also available on Apple devices, such as iPhones and iPads. 

Who Is The Photomath App Intended For?

The Photomath app is perfect for high school students, but can also be used by pupils in  elementary or for students of math beyond high school. We are also pleased to report that the Photomath app is really great for preparing students for ACTs or SATs.

One of the great things about this app is that it can be used by students of every level of ability. More proficient students can use it to check their work as they go long, while students who tend to struggle a lot more with math can use it to understand the basic mechanics of math problems, and learn step-by-step how to work out all the problems they are asked to solve.

So the Photomath app is really for every high school student that’s learning math. But perhaps the students who get the most value from it would be the ones who struggle with math problems.

How Does Photomath Work? Is The Photomath App Easy To Use?

One of the really great things about the Photomath app is just how simple and straightforward it is to use. All you have to do is take a photo of the problem on your smartphone, tablet or iPad, and the answer to the problem will instantly pop up for you. 

And this is great for students who want to check their homework answers or their exam practice answers. But then the Photomath app goes one step beyond that…

When you tap on the answer to your math problem, the Photomath app will show you the working out of the math problem step-by-step.

So not only does it give you the answer to the problem, but it also explains how that answer was  arrived at. And this way, it teaches the user how to solve that problem along with math problems of a similar nature.

It used to be the case that the Photomath app could only recognize printed text. However, the technology in the app has been significantly further developed, so that it can also recognize the user’s handwriting.

It usually manages handwriting recognition quite well, but if a student is concerned that the app won’t recognize their handwriting, they also have the option of entering the math problem into the app manually, using an on-screen keyboard.

And it’s not just for solving algebraic equations, you can even scan worded problems, and the app will explain what you need to do to solve the problem.

What Topics Are Covered By The Photomath App?

One of the great things about the Photomath app is just how many different math topics are covered by it. Here’s the full breakdown for you:

  • Basic math, including decimal numbers, fractions, powers, roots and factors
  • Algebra, including linear equations, quadratic equations, logarithmic functions, matrices, and graphing
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Calculus, including limits, integrals derivatives, and curve sketching
  • Statistics, including combinations, probability, and factorials

So it’s pretty comprehensive, huh? All the bases are covered.

The only real hitch is with geometry, where only certain textbooks are covered. 

How Much Is Photomath?

I love to be the bearer of good news - we are pleased to report that the basic version of the Photomath app is not only free to download, but is also free to use. You can use it as many times as required for an unlimited period of time.

However, that is not the full story. There is also a paid version of Photomath available, known as Photomath Plus. Subscription to Photomath Plus falls under its in-app purchases.

The standard one-month subscription plan costs about $2.99, and there’s also a version with additional features, which is about $19.99. Or, if you prefer, you can pay for the yearly plan, which costs about $59.99. 

What Do Users Think Of The Photomath App?

You would think that with over 2.3 million downloads of the app, there would be a considerable amount of complaints.

And there are some complaints, of course, but the positive customer reviews massively exceed the negative ones, with the overwhelming majority of users leaving 5-star reviews. And the number of 4-star reviews also outweighs the 1-star reviews, with negligible 2 and 3-star reviews.

The Photomath app really took off during the coronavirus pandemic and countries went into lockdown. With more students at home rather than in the classroom, teaching assistance was largely unavailable, and students became far more reliant on apps like this to get them on track.

The chief complaint by users is that you always have to get a good, clean shot that’s always in focus. For this reason, it’s best to use the app on a device that has a decent camera.

Another complaint was about the keyboard disappearing too frequently. Another complaint was that it’s not available offline.

One complaint was when students found the step-by-step workings out insufficient. Because if the student needs a fuller explanation, this would require them to pay money for the subscription service. (We would argue that if a student needs this service in order to pass their math exams, then the subscription is worth it.)

The positives mentioned, of course, are mostly about how helpful the app is, not just for checking answers, but more for its function as a math tutor, explaining how the answers are arrived at, and what steps you need to take to get to the answer. 

Another positive about the app is that it’s entirely add-free.

What Are The Drawbacks Of The Photomath App?

As with many other educational apps out there, the Photomath app offers a selection of in-app purchases. And while this may not necessarily be a bad thing if you can afford to pay for them, the costs can soon add up.

The Photomath in-app purchases start quite reasonably at 99 cents, however there are other in-app purchases on there that can cost as much as $59.99. And that’s a pretty steep price to pay. 

We have already mentioned this previously, but it bears repeating here. The Photomath app only works when it’s connected to the internet.

And we would consider this a considerable drawback. If a student is out somewhere that doesn’t have WiFi, they will not be able to use the app unless they use up their smartphone’s monthly data usage, and this could very quickly dry up and add to their cell phone bill.

Final Verdict

We would argue that the Photomath app can be life changing for users. Math is one of the most subjects that anyone learns in school.

Not only is arithmetic an important everyday skill to have for understanding how much each person pays at a restaurant, or how to manage your wage and bills as an adult, but many employers narrow down their hiring selection by omitting those who struggle with basic English and Math.

It’s very common for pupils to struggle with math. And we’re the first to admit that it can be difficult for many people to grapple with. But the Photomath app can really change that. Real life math tutors are a rare find, and their time is limited.

They are not always going to be at hand to help students check or understand their homework, assuming you can afford a math tutor in the first place. But Photomath is such a good app, that it can replace the services of a math tutor entirely.

The free version of the app should be sufficient for most pupils, but it’s always good to know the option is there if you feel your child would benefit from the services of the paid version, Photomath Plus.

We hands-down recommend the Photomath app to our site users, even for those who are ok at math, but especially for those who struggle with it. The Photomath app is the best in its class, and for students who already know their times tables, it could be the only math app they will ever need.