Google Translate is an Android and iOS app from Google. It was recently updated to version 2.0 on most Android devices, while the iOS and older versions of Android continue to run a previous version. It is available for free on Google Play and the iTunes App Store and carries no additional in-app purchases.
Google’s ability to translate words, phrases, and webpages has become a useful tool for users of all interests and professions. The Google Translate app presents all the same functionality of Google’s web translator on a mobile device, allowing users to translate text and voice in over 70 languages on the go. Android users get the added bonus of camera functionality, which allows the user to take a picture of text, and have it translated on the spot.
The interface of Google Translate is simple, but it works perfectly for doing its intended job. When opened, the user can set the original language of the word or phrase to be translated. Then, they select their desired output language. After that, it’s just a manner of typing (or speaking) the words and Google Translate does the rest. Scrolling through the extensive language list can feel a little time consuming, but the process is simple to perform and the translation is made almost instantly. Text input goes through the active keyboard, so the user’s mileage may vary based on the software. On the other hand, the Android version’s voice input uses the device’s built-in voice system. Both voice and text inputs work well, and their accuracy will depend on each user. If there is an error in the source, it can easily be edited like any other text field, and Translate will update it immediately.
Google Translate also offers handwriting input. Not a lot of users may make use of that functionality, but those who plan to will be glad to know that it’s one of the most accurate handwriting inputs we’ve tried. It understands numerous languages and is able to decipher sloppy handwriting. It’s a niche tool that’s executed well. An even more impressive feat is Google’s use of the camera to translate, currently only available on Android. Using the camera, users will snap a picture of text, highlight the area they want translated, and Google Translate will read and translate the selection. This process works fast, and it is compatible with numerous languages, making it a useful tool for travelers. There are a couple of limitations, however. First, the number of compatible languages is much smaller than the full Google Translate list. Second, the camera doesn’t always pick up words accurately, and it usually skips numbers completely. Any errors or exclusions can be easily fixed by editing the text box, but it may feel like a bit of a chore at times. Errors don’t happen frequently, but still often enough to note.
Google Translate isn’t perfect, but it’s a free app that is very good at what it does. The language list is extensive and often comes with an audio pronunciation. The voice and handwriting inputs work wonderfully, and camera functionality makes translating on the go a simple task. Google Translate is a simple app, but it’s worth having for anyone in need of translation.
You can follow Google Translate’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.