Developer: DollarApp
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★★
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

The aptly-named Math Cards is a crisp, clean quiz program designed to hone your basic math skills. And let’s face it: we could all do with a little help. While the app is designed for grade-school kids in need of memorizing their times-tables, even adults can benefit from mental math skills. (Give me a calculus problem any day, but I absolutely hate basic addition!) If it was a bit more feature-rich, it would be perfect; as it stands, it’s one tool you can use to tackle a larger task.

img_00107The interface is simple and easy to use. It’s a standard chalkboard with four large boxes, each with a different symbol: addition, subtraction, or multiplication, or division. Tapping one takes you into the quiz mode. (Despite its name, Math Cards is more of a quiz app than a flash card set.) In the same chalk-on-blackboard style as the introduction, a problem appears, along with four different answers. You tap on one to select it, and once you make it through all twenty-five problems, the app gives you a letter grade and a percentage score. Complete one set in each category, and an overall letter grade appears on the main chalkboard-menu.

The app is quick, lag-free, and does its job well enough. The graphics are really outstanding for such a simple quiz app. Even if the blackboard theme was an obvious choice, it’s a fitting one. As far as presentation goes, there’s nothing to complain about here!

img_00075In functionality, though, Math Cards is lacking some features. For one, there’s the multiple choice. I get it, it works fine, but…well, I’m honestly skeptical as to the benefits of multiple choice when it comes to learning math. Also, the app doesn’t time you; there’s no way to track a “best time” or anything like that. A timer could act as a prod to increase your speed, and with basic times tables, speed of recall is one of the main goals. Finally, there’s no option to focus on a specific times table. For example, in second grade we had to memorize one column per week: the 2x table was the first week, the 3x table was the second week, and so on. It would be useful if you could do the same here, but there aren’t any such options to be had. An optional second tier of larger numbers and more complex problems (multiplication over 12 is a weakness of mine, for example) would be nice, too.

In the description, DollarApps says that they believe in “doing one thing well and keeping it simple,” and that’s definitely the case here. Is Math Cards perfect? That depends entirely on what you want. If you need a simple tool to keep your mental-math skills sharp, then this is it. Just don’t expect anything too feature-rich, and you’ll love Math Cards for its convenience, its simplicity, and its clean presentation.

Posted in: Education, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

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