Translator

When you travel, it’s handy to have a translation app on your phone. One app you might want to install before leaving on your trip is Translator with Speech. It is usually listed among the top-paid and best-rated language apps for Windows Phone. It has also just received an update to version 2.2, adding more languages.

Head past the break for our hands on video and walkthrough.

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Microsoft is taking its Kinect technology to a whole new level. We've already looked at how the company is attempting to integrate its product into retail, but Microsoft Research is also tapping into sign language. Numerous videos have been released showing off how the Kinect Sign Language Translator is able to interpret sign language and translate it.

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In a world where Google is king, Bing is beginning to spread. The service’s take over on iOS devices as Siri’s new backend search engine is a large step forward for the company, but Microsoft isn’t done there. Yesterday at Build 2013, the company announced that they would be opening a large number of new APIs and controls to developers.

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Today Microsoft released the Bing Translator App for Windows 8. Just like the Translation application on your Windows Phone, you can now easily convert between 40 different languages using your PC.

Bing Translator app is based on years of Microosft Research and advanced machine learning. The application can translate text, visual images, and content you find on the web. Simply type in what you would like translated, point the tablet’s camera for an augmented experience, or use Windows 8’s share charm to translate content anywhere on your PC.

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Explained: A familiar error message for some Windows Phone users

Ever since WhatsApp was pulled and then re-released this past weekend, we have had a small deluge in complaints from users that they cannot install the update. Instead, they are greeted with the above error message, resulting in user frustration. What’s more, uninstalling the app, resetting the phone and dancing around in a circle did not fix the problem either.

We’ve been trying to figure out exactly why some users have the problem while others, including ourselves, do not. Just as interestingly, we wanted to know which apps were exhibiting the error.

Microsoft has now detailed the problem on the Windows Phone Blog and there’s good news and some bad news. The good news is they acknowledge that there is an issue and they even know what is causing it. As it turns out, there are some problems with certificates for new apps published in the Marketplace within the last week. 

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Microsoft has recently updated the official Bing Translator app for Windows Phone, which reportedly adds functionality enabling users to translate from speech, via the camera or through keyboard input. With the camera, Translator allows users to simply capture a sign, menu, newspaper or any printed text on their Windows Phone for instant translations.

Language and phrase books can be downloaded within the app for offline usage, especially handy for when traveling abroad in supported countries (voice translations still require data connectivity). A variety of languages are available and results are fairly accurate. The in-app translators can be pinned to the home screen for convenient access when requiring fast results.

The interface is straight forward and functions are available straight from the main menu, there's little clutter in the Translator app. We've not touched on the Translator offering from Microsoft since the Windows Mobile days, but overall, it's not too shabby for a free app.

You can download Microsoft's Translator from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks Alexander for the heads up!

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Amazing Weather is wonderful weather app for your Windows Phone. The weather app brings everything from current conditions to weekly forecasts to weather radar to your Windows Phone.

The Amazing Weather developers are hard at work on version 3.0 of Amazing Weather that will bring themes, weather alerts, offline mode, auto location detection, and a refined user interface to the mix. But they need your help.

Amazing Weather v3's new "Metro" look

Amazing Weather needs translators for as many languages as they can find. If you care to translate weather terms into the various languages you know, just shoot Eizsoft an email at amazingweather@eizsoft.com with TRANSLATION as the subject line. In return for your help, you'll get a thanks in the About Screen of Amazing Weather and a free Beta copy.

If you're not familiar with Amazing Weather, there is a free trial version available and the full version is running $1.29.  You can find it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

source: XDA Developers

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Babylon is a popular online translation service that is making its way over to the mobile world. Back in December, we mentioned that the company had taken advantage of Microsoft's Mobile Acceleration Week 2011 in Israel to build the popular language translator for Windows Phone. From the description at the time:

"As the leading name in text translation, it was only natural that Babylon would transition over to mobile devices. And so they did. Already available on iOS and Android, Babylon for Windows Phone allows you to translate any word, in any language, to the language of your choice, in real time. Of course, there is a lot more to the app including a currency converter, since presumably you will be using the app when traveling. The UI is super simplistic and hence very intuitive and does exactly what it is meant to do, how it is meant to do it."

That app is now live and while the service is very powerful it's not the best translator we've used, partially because it doesn't have direct sharing options (though you can copy paste) nor the ability to pronounce anything i.e. text-to-speech. That latter part irks us a bit as apps built off of Bing's Translator service can do this quite readily. Still, for direct translations of whole paragraphs, it's not too shabby and it is free meaning it is worth the download if you need such a service.

Pick up Babylon Translator here in the Marketplace. Check out Babylon's online translation here: http://translation.babylon.com/ Thanks, Hassan H., for the heads up

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ArkWords is  a great little app by Arktronic that features not only a great dictionary and thesaurus but an impressive, multi-language translator. In addition, it has a swanky Live Tile that updates every morning with the WOT (word of the day).

The app is superbly built with a very minimalist and fluid UI. Plus it's free, so there's little reason to not give it a shot. And now that the Live Tile has been fixed in v1.1, all seems right with the app and gets our strong recommendation.

Grab it here in the Marketplace and go here for the developer's blog.

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Translator - Review

Need a simple, straight forward translation application? It doesn't get any simpler than Translator from Microsoft.

The Windows Phone 7 application will translate words and phrases to and from English, Italian, Spanish, German and French. Translator will also provide you with a list of commonly used phrases that can be translated to the various languages.

The interface is straight forward and simple. The "from" and "to" languages are shown above two text entry fields. To change the languages, simply tap the language and choose the desired language from the list. If you want to reverse the translation order, tap the "swap button" at the bottom of the screen.

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On Microsoft's own Channel 9 yesterday, they showed off some of the free apps in the new Marketplace for Windows Phone 7.

Now these are hardly "killer" apps, in fact they are more demo apps with the source-code available for developers to build off of and incorporate into their own programs.

The programs demoed were pretty basic, much like the ones you find on Samsung phones:

  • Bubble/Spirit Level
  • Unit Converter
  • Shopping list
  • Weather
  • Stocks
  • 2D game based on SilverLight: 'Unite'
  • Translator

The 2D game 'Unite' was kind of neat--it's just meant as brief time killer and is similar to 'Teeter' from HTC except instead of getting the ball in the hole, you need to combine two or more balls.  Looks kind of fun actually.

But the real big thing was the demonstration of Bing Translator, which seems to be an expansion of this new service shown off back in May. Basically, you type in what you want to say and it will translate it for you in text; hit the speaker button and it will speak the phrase for you, even with an authentic accent.

The service is a hybrid one: it uses your data connection for new phrases, but stores old ones on the device. This will enable quick playback of phrases without having to constantly reach into the cloud (Android is 100% cloud based with translation, making Microsoft's solution more preferable). The app also already comes with an impressive list of canned phrases which you can quickly access and supports five-languages on launch:

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • English

What's neat is like the other apps, Microsoft is making the source-code of this program available to developers, meaning anyone can incorporate and expand upon what they've already offered. This combined with their emphasis on voice could potentially give Android a run for their money (and leave Apple far behind).

Check out the video after the break. It's only 18 minutes of your time.

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