New Snip Smartphone App Converts Math Screenshots Into LaTeX

Not so long ago, mathematics students and researchers had to spend a tedious amount of time writing out equations in the technical and scientific documentation typesetting system LaTeX. The launch this April of the AI-powered desktop tool Snip changed that. Available for Mac, Windows and the Ubuntu system, Snip converts screenshots of mathematical formulas into LaTeX code in seconds. Snip went viral as an easy-to-use time-saver for the math and science community.

The makers of Snip, San Francisco-based Mathpix, have now released a free mobile version of the system for iOS and Android.

Users simply snap a picture of a handwritten or printed formula, drop it into the conversion interface, then choose their desired LaTeX code format for output. The iOS and Android apps can also be synced with users’ desktop apps.

Snip’s image processing technology can also recognize math equations from whiteboards, blackboards, and textbooks.

Founded in 2017, Mathpix’s company mission is to “accelerate the pace of technological progress.” Its current efforts include leveraging powerful OCR technology in digital mathematics to save time on tasks such as typing calculations on mobile phones or computers. Mathpix has also developed an API (MathpixOCR) to enable the integration of OCR capabilities into other applications to extract text and math from images.

Mathpix solutions have delighted the mathematics research community. PhD student Emma Johnson at the UK’s Wellcome Trust tweeted “Where have you been all my life?”

The Snip mobile app is free to use for the first 50 conversions, and an unlimited use license costs US$4.99 per month.

Snip is available on the Mathpix website.

Journalist: Fangyu Cai | Editor: Michael Sarazen

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