Review: iMathematics, by Antonio Giarrusso (universal binary)
iMathematics, by Antonio Giarrusso
$2.99, **** (universal binary)
- Nice mathematics tool for pstudents
- Handy tools, including graphing calculator and matrix solver
- Simple, clean interface
- No real “tutorials”
- No calculator included
As the semester as starting up, I thought I would focus a little bit of time on apps that may be useful to students. Last week I reviewed the Chem Pro app, this week it is a math reference tool called iMathematics.
Figure 1. Many different topics are included in the app.
Unlike Chem Pro, iMathematics isn’t really a teaching or tutorial program. While there is an extensive array of topics and some handy tools, the “teaching’ functionality is limited to reading a description of the topic and some example. There are no animations, although there is a useful “quiz” function at the end of each topic. The topics all follow the same basic layout – start with a definition of the topic, then discuss properties or ideas of the topics, then give some examples. At the very bottom is a quiz option. Each major topic is broken down into between ten and twenty sub topics.
Figure 2. A fairly comprehensive glossary is included.
The quiz function presents a sentence, question, or phrase, and you have to pick the correct multiple choice answer. Another nice feature in the topics menu is that it includes links to related topics, as well as a link to the Wikipedia entry on the topic. Topics range from basic arithmetic to algebra and geometry to probability and physics. The examples that are included are pretty comprehensive, and if you have any basic understanding of the topics, you should be able to follow along.
Figure 3. Some useful tools are included, including a graphics calculator.
In addition to the topics, there is a nice glossary in the utilities menu. Unfortunately you can’t click a word in a topic to get to the definition in the glossary, nor is the glossary interaction (with links back to the topics, or even a search feature). The “advanced calculator” is not really a calculator, but simply uses to Wolfram Alpha engine to solve various types of problems. Lots of lots of types of problems. The graphic calculator lets you put in a function, and it graphs it (2D only). The various solvers let you put in variables and constants and solve for quadratic equations, systems, and matrices. Interestingly, there is no basic calculator (or even advanced scientific calculator).
Figure 4. The topics include terminology and examples of problems.
The interface is very clean – no clutter of distracting options. It would be nice if there were some animations or more of a “tutorial” mode. The app primarily strikes me as a reference tool and a way someone can brush up on something that they already learned.
Figure 5. Tools like a graphing calculator may be of use to math students.
All in all, iMathematics is a useful tool for people who may want to carry a variety of mathematical concepts in their pocket. With a large range of topics, plenty of examples, and some useful tools, the app can be a handy reference source, although it may not really be able to teach someone the ideas. At $2.99, it is a reasonably priced option for students. Four out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. All opinions expressed in this review are precisely that – opinions. You may agree or disagree. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.