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This article was published on February 19, 2016

Microsoft Translator app now works offline and with your camera

Microsoft Translator app now works offline and with your camera
Amanda Connolly
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Amanda Connolly

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Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and ed Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and editorial at the Web Summit. She’s interested in all things tech, with a particular fondness for lifestyle and creative tech and the spaces where these intersect. Twitter

Microsoft has released an update for its Translator app on iOS and Android that gives each version a different new feature.

Android users now have an AI-powered translations engine, which works offline. To get started though, users need to download the additional free language packs first, which are available in French, German, Chinese (simplified), Italian, Russian, Polish, Vietnamese, Spanish and Portuguese.

While it’s not perfect, Microsoft says the offline mode offers “near online quality” right now by using its first Deep Neural Network-powered engine. This is the same technology that Skype uses for its live in-call translations.

Meanwhile, iOS users 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. It works with more than 20 languages, including Chinese (simplified and traditional), Czech, Danish, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Dutch, Spanish Russian, Turkish and more.

Microsoft hasn’t 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.

➤ Microsoft Translator [iOS | Android]

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