The official Google Translate for iPhone app is now available for download from the App Store. The new app has all of the features of the web app, as well as some new additions designed to improve translation experience. The new app accepts voice input for 15 languages, and—just like the web app—you can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages. For voice input, just press the microphone icon next to the text box and say what you want to translate. You can also listen to your translations spoken out loud in one of 23 different languages. This feature uses the same new speech synthesizer voices as the desktop version of Google Translate introduced last month. Another feature is the ability to easily enlarge the translated text to full-screen size. This way, it’s easier to read the text on the screen, or show the translation to the person you are communicating with. Just tap on the zoom icon to quickly zoom in. And the app also includes all of the major features of the web app, including the ability to view dictionary results for single words, access your starred translations and translation history even when offline, and support romanized text like Pinyin and Romaji. You can download Google Translate now from the App Store globally. The app is available in all iOS supported languages, but you’ll need an iPhone or iPod touch iOS version 3 or later. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-translate/
TransPerfect, the privately held provider of translation services, announced the release of a new iPhone application for translation, which is available free to users. The application is called TransPerfect TransImage and it provides real-time machine translation via the device’s camera for users who come across text they would like to instantly understand. Machine translation has not yet advanced to a point where it can replace a human translator for mission critical content, but it can be an informative tool for getting the gist of content in another language. TransPerfect’s iPhone application leverages OCR (optical character recognition) and MT (machine translation) technology to form an application that takes text within a picture and translates it automatically. The current version includes support for 49 languages. The free application is now available from the Apple iTunes Store. www.transperfect.com.
Charlie Sorrel has some thoughts over at Wired’s blogs.
Here’s a project I would love to do if I had the time–a face-off between Kindle, the iPhone, the Sony Reader, an eBook Technologies ETI-1, and a few other devices. Take a few book types–novel, textbook, graphical book, business document to begin with–and create a feature matrix and evaluation criteria. Also evaluate the e-commerce experience, the experience with public domain and other free content, and the experience of adding your own content. Write it all up, and keep it up to date.