There are some apps that really stand out for being genuinely useful and Bing Translator is one of them. The app was released some time back on Windows Phone 7 and has rightly proved to be incredibly popular due to its slick operation and advanced features.
The app has been updated to support Windows Phone 8 and you can now initiate the augmented translation mode by using the new lenses feature.
Recently I used the app extensively whilst in France as I honestly cannot speak a word of French and it proved invaluable for my trip. You’ll get options to translate text by using keyboard input but you’ll also be able to speak directly into the app and get speech to text translation too. While there is much made of the uses of “augmented reality” Bing Translate uses it to great effect, allowing you to point your camera at things you see to view a live translation of the image. The team over at Bing are doing some amazing work to bring all this together so you should check that out.
Along with that you can also opt to download full offline translation packs for Simplified Chinese, English, French, German and Italian. Grab the packs you need for your trip and you don’t have to worry about a data connection and the associated charges while you’re away. On my last trip I found the app worked brilliantly with the offline translation I threw at it.
If you’re keen on improving your own skills you can enable the live tile to show you a word of the day so you can keep in the game. The Windows Phone 7 version was a top performer anyway and the Windows Phone 8 version is likewise slick and well designed. The only issue I can see is that my offline language packs are taking forever to download at the moment and I am seeing a “Sorry, can’t download that right now, try again later” message. I’ll keep trying, if you folks are seeing the same issue be sure to let us know in the comments.
You can grab the app from the Windows Phone Store