Microsoft Translator Android app picks up image translation, more offline language packs

It’s probably only a matter of time until the EU goes after Google for anti-competitive practices regarding the search giant’s translation service in addition to the way actual search, web browsing and shopping apps are built into stock Android.

But Microsoft is doing a pretty good job nurturing its own Translator for Windows Phone, iOS and Android, so Google Translate may not hold a monopoly much longer, even on the world’s most popular mobile platform.

Two of the recent major iOS updates for Microsoft Translator are essentially brought together on Android now, with the app finally capable of instantly deciphering text from images, as well as performing accurate translations offline from and to 34 new languages.

Granted, Image Translation still doesn’t work as neatly as on Google Translate, overlaying the interpretation above the original text, but it’s certainly nice to have another option for quickly and hopefully reliably translating foreign signs, menus or flyers. You can use Microsoft Translator’s very handy new feature on pictures snapped by your phone’s cam or saved images from emails, the web, and social media. Only in 21 languages, though, including Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Turkish.

Meanwhile, the grand total of downloadable language packs now stands at an impressive 43, including Arabic, Catalan, Filipino, Hebrew, Hindi, Malay, Persian, Thai, and Urdu. Inline Translation and the Hub Keyboard Preview App are finally brought over from iOS to Android, so the revised free-to-download Microsoft Translator app is definitely worth a shot even for Google Translate devotees.

Sources: MSDN Blog, Google Play

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Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).