Advertising
Advertising

Have You Tried The Google Translate App’s New Word Lens Feature?

Have You Tried The Google Translate App’s New Word Lens Feature?

Thanks to a recent update to the Google Translate app, the ability to travel, live, and do business abroad has never been easier.  The recent additions and improvements to the app make conversing in and navigating around a foreign country as simple as aiming a smartphone camera or speaking into a microphone.

Translate Text, in Real Time, Without an Internet Connection

The most notable new enhancement to Google Translate is the Word Lens feature, which was developed as its own app in 2010 by a company called Quest Visual.  This app allowed users to merely hold their phone up to a sign or printed text and have it translated immediately.  As such, it was no wonder that Google wanted to own it.

Advertising

Now a part of Google Translate, this feature currently translates text from French, German, Italian, Portugese, Russian, and Spanish into English, and vice versa.  Google indicates it plans to support even more languages in the future.  For those that aren’t already offered, users can use Camera Mode, which allows them to take a photo, highlight the text, and obtain a translation.  This feature is available in 36 languages.

One of the biggest perks to the new Word Lens feature is that it works even without an Internet or data connection.  This allows travelers to translate on the go without having to pay an exorbitant amount of money for an international data plan.

Advertising

Conversations Flow Seamlessly

The second most notable feature of the new Google Translate is its ability to detect which language is being spoken when used in its speech or conversation mode.  Historically, the app required users to manually select the language for translation before each new phrase was spoken.  With the newest release, the need only indicate the two languages at the initial setup.  The app does the work after that, allowing conversations to flow much more naturally.

As a North American expat living in the Latin tropics, I’m often asked for advice on breaking down the language barrier when traveling or relocating abroad.  With these new features and improvements, the Google Translate app is a resource I recommend to help ease that transition.

Advertising

Still a Few Bugs to Work Out

That being said, the app certainly isn’t without its flaws.  The Word Lens app struggles with translating handwriting or particularly intricate text or fonts.  As a result, it occasionally makes mistakes.  Likewise, the conversation mode will sometimes come up with something totally wonky that scarcely resembles the actual words spoken.  All in all, though, it’s usually pretty accurate and does a great job of getting the point across.

The app is free to download from the App Store, and it’s available for both iPhone and iPad and on the Google Play Store for Android users.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: spanish-learn-speech-translation-375830/jairojehuel via pixabay.com

More by this author

20 Health Benefits of Coffee (And How to Get the Maximum Benefits of It) 5 Simple Steps To Owning Your Own Overseas Paradise 4 Reasons People Who Follow Their Passions Fail (and How to Avoid Them) 4 Tips for Overcoming Fear from a Surfer Who Nearly Drowned 5 Tropical Islands You Could Actually Afford

Trending in Technology

1 8 Replacements for Google Notebook 2 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 3 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 4 10 Smartest Productivity Software to Improve Your Work Performance 5 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

Advertising

In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

Advertising

Advertising

Read Next