Google Translate – Versatile, Reliable, but not Perfect

Google Translate has been in Google’s arsenal of useful go-to links for quick help, aside from looking for anything on the web, Google’s translate functionality is able to roughly translate whatever text you enter into its textbox. As mobile devices get faster and smarter, the line of capabilities of a computer and a smart device is blurring, sooner or later, you find yourself with a smart device that’s much more versatile than a computer. The great thing about smart devices is that it’s ready to go, packed in a compact, easy to use package that’s ready to be used after just a few taps or swipes. To make smart devices even more useful, Google’s translate is now available as a downloadable app that adds tons of new device-integrated features to fully take advantage of smart devices.

Google Translate - Versatile, Reliable, but not Perfect

Google Translate is the Go-To App for Many

The Google Translate app started out as a simple port of the existing translate web-app and grew from there, it had minor hiccups but it was something. As more refinements and changes to the app were introduced, the app has become one of the more versatile Google apps to download especially for travelers abroad. The UI is clean and simple showing you the things you want readily accessible and the advanced features hidden when you swipe left bringing up more options. The main view from top to bottom has the options button on the top left, a swipe from the left will also bring it up. Below it is the language switcher which allows you to choose input and output languages with a swap button to exchange languages quickly. Next you have a large textbox for input text and below it are new features mainly camera, voice and script (written). Running the app for the first time leaves the bottom portion empty but it’s used for a translate history where it shows your recently translated words.

The advanced features include of the Google Translate app include a phrasebook that can sync across devices, an SMS translate feature, offline translation – which requires you to download languages to allow the app to work even without a data connection, and tap to translate – which is a popup that goes up once you got some text selected making translating on the fly possible even without the app running. The quick and useful features of Translate are the camera which allows you to take pictures of text – written or printed, and the app translates the input image, a voice recorder that allows you to record spoken words directly for quick translation, and a scribble pad or writing pad that accepts written characters which is useful for scripts such as Japanese and Korean.

Google Translate isn’t perfect as it still has minor hiccups such as inaccurate input text detection and poor quality translation but for what it is, it works pretty well.


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