Bottom line: Useful app for math drills if your child needs a simple interface and practice writing answers rather than entering them on a keyboard.
Rather like Jill having to compare Bugs and Bubbles to other multiple game apps for younger ones, reviewing DoodleMaths makes it difficult to look at other math apps without feeling that something is missing. However, Sakura Quick Math by Shiny Things is a good niche app, worth looking at in the following circumstances:
• A math app suitable for older kids, teens (or even adults who like doing math drills to keep their brains sharp) with an interface that isn't "childish."
• An app that covers all four basic math computations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
• A simple app with no distracting bells and whistles.
• Timed math drills.
• Your child to practice writing the answers to questions rather than entering them on a keyboard or selecting options via multiple choice.
The app provides five different quiz settings: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and a random mode which includes all four. You can select the difficulty for each mode - the three levels are beginner, intermediate and advanced. After a 3, 2, 1 countdown the child answers 20 math questions as quickly as they can by writing the answer on the screen. Their time is then shown in a bar chart so you can compare it to their best times. Other features include:
• The choice to skip a question but if you do, time will be added to your score.
• In settings you can indicate whether or not you write 7s using a strike through and you can choose to reset scores.
• The main menu screen includes options to turn off sound effects and see how your scores compare to others, as the app is Game Center enabled.
• It's a universal app but only works in portrait mode.
Some things I would love the developer to consider in a future update are:
• Support for multiple players and progress reporting so that it can be used by schools.
• A little more rigor with respect to the number recognition facility in the app. Generally, I was really impressed with this feature but it seemed to have a problem recognizing my 4s and 5s.
• I'm going to throw in my standard request for landscape mode capacity.
• Some kind of positive reinforcement system would be appreciated (as an option in settings because the simplicity of the app is going to be a virtue for many). This would make the app even more useful for older children with special needs and younger kids.
Sakura Quick Math is only 99 cents however, so it's still well worth a look if you're trying to find an app that falls into one of the categories outlined above. Timed math drills aren’t much fun for kids but with standardized testing such a huge focus in many schools, they are a necessary evil and the practice this app offers could be very useful.
This review was written by Deanne Shoyer who is very fond of cherry blossoms but was never very quick at math.