One of the most useful Microsoft applications for iOS devices, the Translator, has just received a major new feature that has been available on Android OS for quite some time now – offline translation.
For Android users:
Translator now operates offline- reportedly with an accuracy that rivals online translations thanks to its “world’s first” deep neural network-powered engine. This is the same engine that powers Skype’s auto-translate function. The new functionality should help users who are travelling abroad but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on roaming data. You will, however, have to download free translation packs before your trip. There are only nine packs currently available including simplified Chinese, Italian, Russian and Spanish but Microsoft is reportedly working to expand that lineup.
For iOS users:
Translator can now translate words from images in their camera roll using Microsoft’s Optical Character Recognition. It’s a handy feature to have for translating things like menus and signs when you’re traveling. iOS users now have access to Microsoft’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine- the same one that’s been used for Translator on Windows Phones since 2010. It works with more than 20 languages, including Chinese, Czech, Danish, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Dutch, Spanish Russian, Turkish and more. The system supports all 50-some-odd languages for voice and input text.
Microsoft has not made it clear why the features are being rolled out on each platform separately but it has said that all of them will be available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone soon.
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