Google translation 'app' hits iPhone

Feb 08, 2011
Google software that turns iPhones into interpreters became available at Apple's online App Store on Tuesday.

Google software that turns iPhones into interpreters became available at Apple's online App Store on Tuesday.

"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," Google engineer Wenzhang Zhu said in a blog post.

"For voice input, just press the microphone icon next to the text box and say what you want to translate."

Translate for iPhone uses the same speech synthesizing technology as a version of the program released last month for desktop computers, according to the engineer.

The Mountain View, California-based Internet powerhouse in January added language translation capabilities to Android-powered smartphones with software that lets the handsets translate conversations in real time.

Google's Android surged past last quarter and is closing in on the as the most popular smartphone platform in the United States, market tracking firm comScore said Monday.

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User comments : 15

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nuge
not rated yet Feb 08, 2011
Is it instantaneous? Does it use correct grammar in each langauge?
abhishekbt
not rated yet Feb 09, 2011
@Nuge: Cannot be for both.
It has to upload the speech to the google server and then download the translation. There will be some lag for sure.

Secondly, if you have ever used google translate via the webpage you will know that it is not 100% correct. Grammar is still a sticky issue so to speak.
nuge
not rated yet Feb 09, 2011
That's what I thought. Still impressive though, it can only get better from here.
fmfbrestel
1 / 5 (1) Feb 09, 2011
I wouldn't hold your breath nuge, grammar is darn tough for computer programs. Even if a reasonably good engine is built tomorrow, it would still be a while before your phone has the power and storage to run it on the fly.
Ramael
not rated yet Feb 09, 2011
This is totally better than that star trek translator Captain Kirk was using when he was put on trial by the Klingons. MUAHAHAHA!
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (1) Feb 09, 2011
Still though, google's translation app is nothing to sneeze at, theres some impressive code backing all that up. Despite any shortcomings.
TheSpiceIsLife
5 / 5 (1) Feb 09, 2011
Imagine a world without language barriers!
Bob_Kob
5 / 5 (1) Feb 09, 2011
Even if it isnt 100%, it would still be damn useful if you needed to get a simple message across to someone.
nuge
5 / 5 (2) Feb 09, 2011
I wouldn't hold your breath nuge, grammar is darn tough for computer programs. Even if a reasonably good engine is built tomorrow, it would still be a while before your phone has the power and storage to run it on the fly.


Consider the state of the art in phones ten years ago. Would you say you've been underwhelmed with the progress since?

I honestly think we might be there pretty soon. We're living in a revolution of technology and society which is greater in scope than the Industrial Revolution was, and its only just starting to take hold in terms of mass societal change. It's going to be an amazing century. The world 20 to 30 years from now will be unrecognisable.
Beard
not rated yet Feb 09, 2011
New technology follows compounding progress. In ten or twenty years we could have tiny earbuds which translate speech flawlessly and instantly.
Bob_Kob
not rated yet Feb 10, 2011
I wouldn't hold your breath nuge, grammar is darn tough for computer programs. Even if a reasonably good engine is built tomorrow, it would still be a while before your phone has the power and storage to run it on the fly.


The app requires an internet connection. Its not doing anything on your phone, its doing it on the google servers. So really all you need is proper algorithms since googles servers are powerful as they come.
Ramael
not rated yet Feb 10, 2011
New technology follows compounding progress. In ten or twenty years we could have tiny earbuds which translate speech flawlessly and instantly.


We could produce that now if we wanted. In all honesty I definitely think that'll be more in the 5 to 10 year range, depending on when some company with lots of money decides they could potentially make some more off of it.

Thats capitalism, may not be ideal, but it keeps things going :_)
RicketyApps
not rated yet Feb 10, 2011
Check out Text Translator with options to send the translated text as SMS, email, post to your Facebook, Twitter and MySpace account and text-to-speech for English.

panorama
not rated yet Feb 10, 2011
Wasn't MIT or somebody working on something like this, but it wouldn't require an internet connection? I might have read a story about it here on physorg.
fmfbrestel
not rated yet Feb 11, 2011
They might have been working on it, but google just deployed it. Score one for corporate R&D.

Anyway, not saying its not impressive, not saying googles servers cant handle the load, but the naysayers whining that "it needs internet to work" need to get over it. cloud computing is here, and until they can shrink a datacenter into a cell phone and have it still cost $150-$200, this is as good as it gets.