HP Prime Free

Category: Student Tools

Ages: 18+
Price: Android - Free iPhone/iPad - Free

A scientific and graphical calculator in one - this app is designed to replicate the HP Prime Graphing Calculator.  It includes core functions needed at GCSE level such as powers, roots, logarithms, trigonometric functions, etc. and combines this with graphical features encountered after children have left secondary school.  It extends the scope of a traditional scientific calculators with its built in Apps library.

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User Reviews

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Teacher Review

Upon opening the app, most users will be amazed and somewhat baffled by the interface and number of options available to them.  The app is designed to replicate the HP Prime Graphing Calculator, which supports all the major mathematical concepts encountered during secondary education: squares and square roots, trigonometric functions, basic graphing functions, etc.  However, it is beyond secondary school that this app will really benefit students.  It is similar to most traditional graphical calculators in terms of buttons and functions.  The bottom half of the app contains all the digits, the four operations and many commonly used mathematical functions (x² √x, sin, cos, tan, etc.).  The top section is split into two again: the bottom third (of the top section) is dedicated to menu and navigation buttons and the top two thirds (of the top section) introduces the “app library.”  This area offers the most functionality with many built features such as functions; sequences; advanced graphing; statistics view; solve; etc. 

In terms of usability, upon first experimenting with the app, it seemed difficult to navigate and use, however, after exploring it in detail, navigation became easier as did the understanding.  Users will find it easier once they have identified key areas and buttons such as the delete key, the Apps button, equals key, etc.  On the display, the font size can be made bigger but it is still small and could be larger for numbers. However, it is clear that this calculator is not aimed at those performing basic operations (KS2 / KS3), and is instead targeted at those using mathematical or scientific functions, or the graphical interface. The app is quick to respond to touch and works in both landscape and portrait mode.  When held in portrait mode, it resembles the traditional scientific calculator; however, strangely if rotated to landscape mode it seems more abstract.

The app-based calculator has advantages over traditional calculators.  Aside from the obvious fact that you do not need to carry a calculator with you when you have the app, there are other benefits too.  For example, the graphical section allows the user to utilise the pinch to zoom feature.  This enables them to make better use of the graphical interface compared to the traditional hand-held graphical calculator, as it is able to focus on a specific point easily, avoiding unnecessary inaccuracies, or having to reset the calculation.

The apps website states that it is “an extensive and integrated mathematics tool that enables students to solve problems, learn, and explore.”.  In terms of GCSE students this could be a good starting point, and for those studying beyond this, it will benefits them long term - as a calculator it offers everything a student will need in terms of mathematical calculation capabilities.

Overall, a useful alternative to a hand held scientific or graphical calculator, worthy of a five star rating.

From the Developer

The HP Prime Graphing Calculator App is an extensive and integrated mathematics tool that enables students to solve problems, learn, and explore on their iPad or iPhone.

Designed with the same layout and features as the College Board-approved HP Prime Graphing Calculator*, the app answers the demands of the digital classroom and delivers flexible functionality anywhere you work.

· Advanced graphing capabilities to graph implicit and explicit equations and inequalities, even trace or build tables of points of interest
· Perfect companion for secondary and collegiate mathematics courses
· Sophisticated precision that provides the most accurate results
· Just-in-time context-sensitive help built into the app
· Solve single equations and systems of equations (linear and nonlinear)
· Hundreds of mathematical functions and commands available for quick and easy problem solving
· Pinch-to-zoom and multi-touch capabilities for a hands-on, intuitive experience
· Reduce keystrokes with optional Reverse Polish Notation (RPN)
· Customizable for individual user preferences
· Delivers a multidimensional Computer Algebra System (CAS)
· Authentic app, developed and supported by HP

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Learning Outcomes

Key Features

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

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