Skip the calculator and use iOS Spotlight for all your math needs

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Put a spotlight on your math facts.
Put a spotlight on your math facts.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’ve got a quick bit of math to figure out on the go, why bother tapping into the Calculator app, which you’ve probably got stuffed in some sort of folder on your third page or so?

Even though we’ve been using Spotlight on the Mac for years now to figure out quick mathematical facts, it’s also included in the iOS version of Spotlight, making doing quick bits of math super easy.

Here’s how to use it.

iPad math app comes with real human tutor

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The Tabtor Math app doesn't leave you alone with your iPad. A personalized tutor is assigned to each student.
The Tabtor Math app doesn't leave you alone with your iPad. A personalized tutor is assigned to each student.
Photo: Tabtor Math

The fifth-grader who just last year was at least one grade behind in math is now a year ahead and helping his classmates. Sebastian Johnson’s grasp and meteoric understanding of math did not happen because of the tutor he met with twice each week.

It was, his father Fred said, because of an iPad app called Tabtor Math, a tutoring program that assesses skills, analyzes learning snags and designs a personalized curriculum to raise math proficiency in students grades K-8.

Ask Siri to divide zero by zero and get ready for an hilarious insult

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Siri will answer your questions, but that doesn't mean he/she has to like them.
Siri will answer your questions, but that doesn't mean he/she has to like them.
Photo: Apple

Compared to more sedate virtual assistants like Google Now, Siri has always had a reputation for snark — whether it’s answering every annoying hypothetical question we can throw at it with equally sarcastic answers, or getting amusingly annoyed when we confuse him/her with rival AI assistants.

A newly-discovered Siri Easter Egg swept the Twittersphere on Monday, however. Asking Siri to divide zero by zero may sound like a basic math question, but the result is pure offbeat hilarity.

And just a bit mean, too.

Building iOS math game a family affair

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A scene from the math game CarQuiz, which asks drivers to answer math questions, swiping a finger to move to the lane with the correct answer. Photo: Smile More Studios
A scene from the math game CarQuiz, which asks drivers to answer math questions, swiping a finger to move to the lane with the correct answer. Photo: Smile More Studios

At 9, Mariah Martin already has a handle on future careers. “Veterinarian, professional figure skater, fashion model and teacher – not all at once.”

For now, she must settle for tech entrepreneur.

The Seattle fourth-grader and her father, Scott, understand learning math for many children is no joyride but they have developed an iOS game app they believe will put kids in the driver seat on a road to mastering the basics.

CarQuiz allows drivers to navigate a track with math equations along the way and a choice of three answers a little further down the road. Once the equation appears, the driver must quickly figure out the answer as three choices appear. With a finger swipe, the driver moves into the lane with the correct answer.