“How many baseballs fit in a Boeing 747?” is a search query anyone can input into WolframAlpha and receive a detailed result in return.
Fun calculations like this are one of several capabilities that have made the answer engine the beloved of knowledge nerds worldwide.
WolframAlpha returns accurate answers and offers step-by-step explanations on how it arrived at them. With such capabilities, it is no surprise that it has a lot of fans.
But not everyone loves it.
Indeed, not everyone can afford it or wants to pay for it. And while you can get a lot of mileage out of the free version, the step-by-step explanation feature is only available to Pro users.
So also is the ability to edit a formula. If you are on the free version, you are stuck with whatever standard form is available.
Additionally, its natural language processing remains a work in progress, making it frustrating to use unless your queries are structurally in the right way.
In moments like this, something simpler that gets the job done is more attractive. In this article are 15 great alternatives to WolframAlpha.
Most of them are for solving math problems. Still, a couple of them are helpful substitutes to other WolframAlpha purposes like learning aid or direct answers to complex queries.
fxSolver is a science and engineering problem solver designed by engineers and programmers to provide algebraic equation solutions to netizens. Its most significant advantage over WolframAlpha is that it is free.
The web-based program comes with several mathematical features, including a graphing calculator and an equation library. Simply add a formula, input the variables, and click Solve.
The formula library is impressive for a free tool, covering high school calculus to professional-level calculations.
There are multiple formulas for different subjects that users can browse through by category. They include aerospace engineering, civil engineering, computer science, biology, and more. There is also a category for standard formulas in exams.
Besides categorizing each formula, there is also a search box to search for a specific formula. If the formula you need is not among the preset options, fxSolver allows you to create it.
Also, it is possible to calculate multiple equations at once and share the results with friends. It is a distinct advantage over WolframAlpha, where queries are executed one at a time.
The Edtech space is evolving. But along with WolframAlpha, Symbolab has emerged as one of the leaders in the industry.
The Israeli-built program is also an answer engine that offers step-by-step solutions to high school and college-level math problems.
Its array of mathematical topics covers trigonometry, geometry, pre-calculus and calculus, pre-algebra and algebra, and statistics. Outside of pure mathematics, Symbolab Math Solver also offers solutions in chemistry, physics, and finance.
Users have to visit the website, select the appropriate category, choose the right formula, enter the variables, and click Go. Not only will this solve the problem, but users also get detailed steps for studying.
In this regard, it is an excellent alternative to WolframAlpha, where it is a paid feature.
There is also a mobile version of the software, available on Android and iOS. Simply put, it is effortless to use.
Besides solving problems, Symbolab is also a helpful learning resource for students, teachers, and adults. There are practice questions on different topics, and you can build a custom topic to quiz yourself.
The WolframAlpha homepage can be overwhelming for anyone new to the web-based program. High-concept words like “computational intelligence,” “knowledgebase,” and AI technology are peppered all over the landing page.
Here is one of the few places where Cymath is a convenient alternative to WolframAlpha.
It has an ultra-simplified homepage, and the input box is the main focus. The design is very similar to the Google Search homepage, easing the path of new users.
Users can enter their problem directly in the search box or click the “Choose Topic” button to select from a substantial list of math topics.
Just below the search box are two buttons. A keyboard icon that helps users build formulas and equations and Example buttons with practice problems to solve.
Also, for every problem you solve, there is a step-by-step explanation for how it happened, along with reference materials to learn definitions and additional examples.
If you enjoy the web-based version, it is also possible to solve problems on the go. Cymath has iOS and Android apps that are downloadable from their respective app stores.
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Like Cymath, Mathway uses its homepage to tell new users right away that it is exclusively an algebra-solving program. It means it might not be helpful for anyone who uses WolframAlpha for non-math problems.
However, it is perfect for high school and college students looking for a simplified way to solve their algebraic problems.
The program’s UI gives it the appearance of a calculator, an advanced one with math symbols for fractions, integration, and logarithmic equations.
Users can build any equation using these buttons and get answers to their homework and problem sets with detailed step-by-step analysis.
Mathway’s problem-solving capabilities are not limited to algebra either. Sure, there are other math topics like calculus, trigonometry, and statistics. You can also solve chemistry problems and plot graphs.
One other cool feature in Mathway is the photo upload feature. You can take a picture of a math problem and upload it. The web app, also available on Android and iOS, will analyze the image and solve the problem.
It also understands natural language. You can say the words, and it will turn into an on-screen problem.
The step-by-step explanation is only available to premium users. Still, at $39.99 a year, it is a cheaper alternative to WolframAlpha.
Looking for a decent alternative to WolframAlpha to solve advanced mathematical problems? For your professional problems or your high-level math classes? Maxima is a good option if you know your way around programming.
The program is an offspring of Macsyma, a computer algebra system developed at MIT in the 80s. Since Maxima emerged from its original purpose as a US government project, it has been an open-source software, free for anyone to modify or share. A valuable advantage of WolframAlpha, a proprietary software.
An active user community regularly maintains the software. They frequently update the program, and you can get answers if you have questions.
So what are you getting? Like most computer algebra systems, including WolframAlpha, you can use it to solve a variety of advanced algebraic expressions.
You can transform trigonometric functions to their exponential forms, calculate symbolic antiderivatives, and derive closed-form series expansions.
Anyone can even use it to derive the terms of the Taylor-Maclaurin-Laurent series.
And I truly mean anyone. Maxima is available on all platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac, and Android. It also works on Debian-based systems.
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Insect is an alternative to Maxima that also happens to be a quality alternative to WolframAlpha, particularly for math solvers. It was created by David Peter, a German software engineer. It is an open-source high precision scientific calculator with full support for physical units.
Its open-source status gives it an inherent advantage over WolframAlpha, at least as a math tool. Anyone who’s a skilled programmer can take the source code and modify it into whatever they want.
But without any modification, Insect still does a decent job of solving math problems. There is no step-by-step analysis, but you can use it to solve your high school and college math problems with outstanding levels of accuracy.
Its features include multiple functions, exponential notation, and operators used for evaluating mathematical expressions.
It also comes with unit conversions, Unicode support, functions with multiple arguments, and variable assignments with predefined constants.
All of these are accessible via its readline-based interface, available in both the web and command-line versions.
eMathHelp is a return to simplified online math solvers from alternatives that require high computer literacy.
It is an alternative worth considering if you are not just looking for a tool to solve your homework but one to help you learn while having fun. eMathHelp comes with over 2000 notes and explanations on different subject areas from pre-algebra to calculus 2.
The tool’s list of topics includes linear algebra, probability and statistics, general mathematics, and geometry.
Aside from a comprehensive database of notes, eMathHelp also offers different types of calculators. They include a derivative calculator, online graphing calculator, integral calculator, and many more for various topics.
Users can choose the exact one they need to check the accuracy of their answer and access step-by-step analysis of solutions.
If there is no calculator for your problem set, it is also possible to request it via an online form.
Besides being a simplified and easily accessible alternative to WolframAlpha, eMathHelp also offers math games like puzzles that help users improve their logical thinking and observation skills.
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Ever imagined you were getting answers to your problem sets while you wrote them in your notes? That is the distinct difference between Soulver and WolframAlpha and one of its advantages as an alternative.
Only available on Mac devices, the app solves math problems using natural language in your text. That means you don’t have to input values like “30% x 800” like a standard calculator. You can write “30% of 800” in text, and the app provides the answer.
This application of natural language processing via text doesn’t just cover basic operations either. You can use it for unit conversions of different metric units, fiat, and cryptocurrencies. And variables are entirely editable, so you can make changes without having to start all over again.
There are also other features like comments in line to give your note structure and color formatting. It is also possible to reference previous lines in your calculations like a spreadsheet.
One other cool feature is the ability to assign names to numbers and use them as variables in your calculations.
Google Search is a semantic search engine. By definition, it is incapable of delivering specific and analytic answers like WolframAlpha. But that is not to say the company does have its answer in this niche.
Socratic is a mobile learning app acquired by the Silicon Valley company in 2019. It allows students, teachers, and anyone to ask questions and get answers from online resources.
These resources include answers from sources like Khan Academy, Tiger Algebra, and even WolframAlpha. So, it covers most high school subjects and some university-level problems too.
You can ask any question by typing it in, using your voice, or taking a photo. The app then provides answers in different forms. There are videos, step-by-step analyses, visual explainers, and concept summaries.
Also, like WolframAlpha, answers are available for questions from different subjects including math, biology, chemistry, history, and more.
What’s more, it is free and available on Android and iOS devices. It is also easy to use, with little to zero learning curve. All you have to do is download and install it.
Maple is one of the few renowned options with advanced technical computing capabilities for anyone who wants a WolframAlpha alternative with an extra kick. The software is the product of the Canadian software company Maplesoft and has been around since 1982.
It is a symbolic and numeric calculator capable of high-level mathematics. You can use it to solve problems from any branch of the field, including differential equations, calculus, algebra, group theory, and more.
Maple also has a graphing feature that allows you to create customizable 2D and 3D plots and animations.
More impressively, the software comes with a dynamic programming language that allows users to develop their own solutions to complex problems. This is a significant advantage over WolframAlpha, where users only get answers from the software’s vast knowledge base.
The biggest strengths of Maple as an alternative are in its desktop versions, available on all three major operating systems. However, it is also a mobile calculator for solving math on the go.
You can input problems via text or with the click of your camera. The app is available to Android and iOS users and is downloadable for free.
Unlike other alternatives, SpeedCrunch is more of a calculator than an answer engine. However, it is a highly powerful calculator with extreme precision that lets you compute whatever you want.
This open-source software has a few standout qualities (yes, it is completely free), but my favorite is its command-line interface. Compared to the classical calculator user interface, it makes every input feel super important.
However, if you are not a fan, there is an on-screen keypad too.
Other features that make it worth considering include –
- 80+ built-in mathematical functions
- Statistical functions
- Custom functions
- Unit conversion and complex numbers
- 150+ scientific constants
SpeedCrunch also comes with a built-in formula book with a long list of commonly used formulas. So using it to solve your high school, college, or professional problem sets should be pretty straightforward.
The open-source program has a GPL license, which means access to the source code. If you’ve got the programming skills, you can shape it into whatever you want.
It is also installable on multiple platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux) and over 50 user languages.
Photomath is one of the foremost brands in the Edtech space. The mobile application, available on Android and iOS devices, has had over 220 million downloads. That is mainly because it works well as an answer engine for math topics, especially at a high school level.
As you’ve probably figured out from the name, it lets you scan mathematical questions with your phone’s camera. WolframAlpha does something similar, but the feature is exclusive to paid customers.
Photomath lets you do it for free, even though there is still a paid tier with additional features.
Once the app has captured your equation, it displays the answer and shows a step-by-step analysis. This ability extends to a host of math topics, such as geometry, algebra, statistics, trigonometry, and more.
Photomath is not just for students either. Parents and teachers can use it to help kids with their homework, with 24/7 on-demand help, and the app’s pro version offers custom visual aids and How/Why tips.
For Microsoft fans with brand loyalty, the tech behemoth has its own Edtech app that anyone can use to master a math topic. Named Microsoft Math Solver, the mobile app allows users to solve any math problem at a high school level and for college topics.
You get step-by-step explanations, of course, and it is free. You would need to pay for the premium version to access that feature in WolframAlpha. There is also the added advantage that you get definitions of the mathematical concepts for each explanation.
So not only can you use it to get that homework sorted out in a few minutes, you can do it while mastering the topic itself.
Speaking of topics, Microsoft’s Math Solver has many of them under categories like calculus, algebra, trigonometry, and pre-algebra.
To solve problems in any of these topics, you can input it manually or scan it into the app. You will get your solution, as well as related resources like video tutorials and worksheets.
One final cool thing about this WolframAlpha alternative is that it is accessible everywhere. Besides your mobile device, the app is available as a feature in Microsoft Edge.
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Most WolframAlpha users use it to solve math problems like your average high school or college student. So, we have mainly discussed math solver alternatives to the answer engine. However, it works for other subjects too.
For those who use the software to learn and solve problems in subject areas like languages, arts and humanities, social sciences, and science, Quizlet is a valuable alternative.
It is a learning and problem-solving tool that you can use to complete your homework and master the topic. Unlike WolframAlpha, where your learning aid is mostly limited to step-by-step solutions, you get more with Quizlet.
The app uses ideas like Guidance Fading, Question Types, Active Recall, Pretesting, and Goal Setting. These learning methods are deployed with the help of over 350 million user-generated flashcard sets across multiple subjects.
Quizlet is a web-based and mobile application accessible from any browser on any device. The mobile app, however, is currently only available on Android.
To cap this list of WolframAlpha alternatives is DuckDuckGo, a semantic search engine. As mentioned earlier, as search engines, they are opposites at their core.
DuckDuckGo, like Google, offers direction to web pages that likely contain answers to your question. WolframAlpha gives you the answer directly, usually with facts and figures including the Whats and Hows, but never the Whys, i.e., narrative explanation.
Regardless, DuckDuckGo’s Instant Answers feature makes it a decent alternative to Wolfram|Alpha, at least one worth using in tandem.
Instant Answers gives you the answer to your queries directly on the search results page, drawn from over 100 sources and a growing list of answers. More than 1,200 of them currently span areas like calculations, factual information, and generating strong passwords.
There are other features for embedded answers like Bangs and Is It Raining & Weather Search to ensure you never have to enter more than one or two queries to get what you need.
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WolframAlpha is no doubt a fantastic tool. The ability to search and get direct answers to your queries without having to go to another website is game-changing. Being able to solve academic problems in different subjects with one line of query is mind-bending too.
For a tool like that, it is hard to find an alternative that can replace all its parts. That is why the best one comes down to what you need. However, I’d recommend that a combination of different alternatives is the optimal strategy.