Mathway – Math Problem Solver is a tool for math students of nearly all levels. The app allows users to enter equations at nearly any level of complexity and then solves them.
Nine levels of math plus chemistry
Built-in graphing calculator
Subject-specific menus of terms and symbols
Covers basic math through high school and early college topics
Includes a list of the types of problems covered in each section
Mathway is a high quality app. The ten sections are easily navigated using tabs near the top of the screen. Each section includes drop down menus of symbols and number arrangements such as fractions and exponents that allow easy input of equations. The app does, however, have a few apparent technical glitches, such as an inability to solve any integral from n to n evidenced by the entire system hanging up (the answer should be zero). Furthermore, it would be very helpful if the developers included some sort of tutorial or written directions-people who are not familiar with the level of math needed (such as parents trying to assist high school students), will have some difficulty figuring out how to enter equations. An information section could also include examples of how to use the app, as some parents’/teachers’ first response may be that it seems like “cheating” to be able to enter an equation and get an answer. The app has legitimate educational uses, such as checking one’s work, but some people may need this pointed out in a clear manner.
Mathway could be a huge help to any student working from basic math concepts such as fractions, division, and percents on up to those taking classes in calculus, linear algebra, and finite math. The app also includes a chemistry problem solver, as well. The free version of the app allows users to input equations and receive answers. The type of process used on the input can be chosen from a drop down menu when there are multiple types of problems that may be created from the given input. For example, the basic math section includes a section designed to work with three dimensional figures such as cylinders. Once the height and radius of the cylinder are entered, the drop down menu allows the user to choose to find volume or surface area.
The app is apparently missing a few common input types, however. For example, it operates in degrees, and there is no apparent method to convert from degrees to radians, which is a common sort of problem at that level of math. The chemistry section does not seem to have a method of inputting the information necessary for working with nuclear chemistry, and it does not apparently show how to balance equations or calculate the products and yields of reactions, which are both very common exercises in beginning high school chemistry. There doesn’t seem to be a method of working with inverse matrices, either.
The free version of Mathway provides answers to problems that are entered, but does not show solutions or methodology. To get this information, which is vital for tutoring or understanding how to solve troublesome problems, users must either pay for a single month’s subscription or an annual subscription. There is a companion website that can be accessed using the same credentials required to use the app that includes a math glossary as well as the same equation-solving engine that powers the app.
This app is not intended for entertainment.
The free version of this app is a great value, especially since it does not require an active internet connection to function. Math students will appreciate the capability of checking their work whenever the circumstances dictate. The subscription to see the solutions may or may not be worth the money, depending on the user’s circumstances. Most of the information is available for free on the internet at other websites, but having it right at your fingertips may be well worth the investment. A one-month subscription costs $19.99 and an annual subscription costs $79.99 at the present time. It is worth noting that when answers to problems are offered in the free version, the step-by-step solution is apparently on the screen, but covered by a pop-up inviting the user to purchase a subscription. The purchase system is readily accessible by any user with an Apple ID, and is auto-renewing unless users go into their accounts and disable this feature intentionally.
This app includes a rather aggressive system of soliciting in-app purchase of the subscription plan to purchase access to step-by-step solutions to problems. While this sort of thing is not usually a problem for the high-school and college level students that are likely to use the app, it is a real problem for younger users whose parents may not want them exposed to this sort of pressure. The app also includes unprotected, visible links to social media and to the developers’ website.
The free version of Mathway provides students with ready answers to math and chemistry problems at nearly any level. A subscription must be purchased to access step-by-step solutions that some students may need to understand the process of solving the problems, though.