I am an English major physically allergic to all algebraic formulas, so you're unlikely to get any help from me when it comes to solving any expressions. But in the glorious technological age we live in, there are plenty of apps that actually make math and problem solving fun, even a little bit addictive.
Below, I've listed my top ten favorite (and free) math-related apps and games that you need to have on your Android, in no particular order. Math fans, and even the haters, will enjoy these all the same. Trust me, if I like them, that's saying a lot considering how much I hate anything mathematics.
Probably the most well known app on this list, Lumosity provides numerous games designed by researchers and scientists to help you exercise your brain. You can select between various areas of focus and even map your progress in those areas while using the app. More than any other games and apps on this list, Lumosity pins its value on helping your brain achieve at higher levels through its meticulously designed mini-games.
It should be noted that results are mixed about the true benefits of brain "trainers" and how they may or may not positively affect your brain. But honestly, these Lumosity games are fun to play regardless, and they are certainly stimulating.
Lumosity is available on both the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store. The free version has a limited selection of games, while the full versions features more games, training materials, and detailed progression analytics.
Lumosity costs $14.95 for a single month, $6.95/month on a one-year subscription, $4.99/month on a two-year subscription, or a one-time payment of $299.95 for a lifetime subscription. More information on the various pricing models can be found here.
Competition brings both the best and the worst out of me. Brain Wars is a free brain-training game that pits your wits against friends and strangers from around the world. Log in with Facebook or Google+ to get started.
There is a nice crop of mind games that deal with concentration, memory, calculation, and judgement. If you have used Lumosity before, some of Brain Wars' games will be familiar to you.
Each "challenge" consists of three rounds featuring various games. After each round, the scores are revealed and players can send built-in emoji to one another—a form of virtual but wordless trash talk. The player with the highest overall score after three rounds wins.
I would definitely advise checking out the training section before you start challenging people. If you are unfamiliar with a game, you stand almost no chance against someone who knows what to do—and nobody likes losing.
Khan Academy is an educational website created by Salman Khan, who started his company by making YouTube tutorials for a family member. The company has grown since those early days and its app features videos on math, chemistry, history, finance, and a multitude of other subjects.
Just select from a list of videos and/or modules, then start learning. Khan Academy videos helped me prepare for the GRE and I couldn't recommend any other free online learning option more.
Note: The Android application is not officially licensed, but in my experience, just as good as the iOS and Windows versions.
Whyyyyy?! That's something I've asked many times when I was looking at a math problem I had no idea how to solve. "Why are there so many letters? I thought this was math?"
yHomework is a useful, free app that allows folks like me to input a complex problem, find the solution, and go over the steps on getting to the answer. Just enter in the difficult problem and tap "Solve."
That's a very important thing for anyone trying to learn. An answer is great, but knowing how you got that answer will make everything easier down the road.
There are a few drawbacks, however. For starters, the application can run very slowly at times, which can be a test of patience. Secondly, it works off a credit system, where each problem solved costs 1 credit. When you run out of credits, you can get more with an in-app purchase of $0.99 for 20 credits, $1.99 for 100, and $4.99 for unlimited credits. You can also earn free credits by linking to Facebook.
Math Maniac is another free-to-play game for Android, which works by having a player select the number squares that add up to the goal number.
For example, if the goal number is 14, then select 7 and 7 or 8 and 6. Those numbers will vanish from the board and the next goal number will appear.
This is a great game for working on your math reflexes, so download the free version from the Google Play Store here, or the Gold version here for $1.29, which allows you to restart levels you've already completed.
Math Workout provides tiered math exercises to be completed once a day. Players can unlock harder levels by completing easier levels within the designated time parameters.
Math Effect provides three simple modes for you to get your math on. From the opening screen, you can select between timed 30-second games, 10 equantion formulas per round, or unlimited play.
Basically, you select either YES or NO depending on whether the given equation is correct or incorrect. The faster you do it with the least amount of errors, the higher your score will be.
Download Math Effect for free from the Google Play Store.
There is nothing more helpful than a legit calculator when trying to solve complex algebra or calculus problems. A staple amongst students in these courses, you can get the TI-89 calculator directly on your Android device—find out how with our guide.
Elevate may be the best looking app of the bunch. Sign up with your email address or your Google or Facebook credentials, then decide what skills you'd like to improve. Elevate is very similar to Lumosity, but just a little bit cheaper if you're looking at the premium versions.
Games cover areas like memory, precision, writing, syntax, and reading comprehension. Test yourself and review your session breakdown with insightful analytics.
Just like Lumosity, there is a premium version, Elevate Pro, that includes a bunch of extra features like member rankings, premium content, and access to all games.
Okay, this one's for me, because I love TED talks. They cover subjects from the power of vulnerability to the power of introverts to brain magic and body language. If you are looking for a good place to procrastinate and learn some really awesome things, then the TED app is what you need to download.
You can select between featured talks, popular topics, and talks by subject matter—and because you're here for math, don't miss TED talks about the magic of Fibonacci numbers or the beautiful math behind ugly music.
There is also TED Radio Hour on NPR available by tapping on the headphone icon in the app, and you can even bookmark talks for later viewing, along with downloading them to your device.
It ain't the prettiest app of the bunch, but it does the trick (see what I did there). Math Tricks is another free app that provides different ways to solve math equations. It breaks down various mathematical functions to their core, providing a visual layout of the process to solve.
You can select between a number of different categories and sub-categories. Once you think you have got the trick down, you can test your skills in a training session.
Download Math Tricks from the Google Play Store.