Technology has made sci-fi fantasies come true. One of the most useful innovations, instant camera translation has taken translation apps to the next level because they use your phone's camera to analyze foreign text and translate it right in front of your eyes.
It saves some time by not having you to type it all in, especially for large chunks of text. There are a lot of reasons why it’s extremely handy to have one of these on your phone.
Why second guess, when you can translate text from foreign languages in real time?
If you travel frequently, you could use a app that can read street signs in a foreign country through live camera translation. If you buy products from overseas, you could translate the instruction manual via the instant translation. Imagine being in a fancy restaurant and you can't read the menu items that are in a different language, those days history now with instant camera translation.
Here’s a look at the top three live translation apps, compatible with both Android and iOS.
Google Translate acquired Word Lens, one of the pioneers in live camera translators. Sure enough, that app is gone and you can find the functionality embedded neatly into the king of translating tools, Google Translate. It still works just fine.
All you have to do is open your tap on the camera button in the app right under where it says Tap to enter text and it’ll bring up the interface. Just hold your camera up to a block of text to translate on the fly. You can also press the shutter button to take a picture and save it for later.
Note: The Google Translate app can perform instant translation in 37 languages and supports a total of 103 languages with the help of Google Assistant. Switch between languages at the top to run through a trial and error process.
Microsoft Translator is another popular translate app and probably the sleekest on this list. It too features instant translation through camera, though it doesn’t specify how many languages are available with this feature. It also only translates about half the number of languages that Google Translate supports.
Just open the app and tap the camera button to begin. The app works a little bit differently than Google’s though and less favorably. Instead of instant translation within the context of the surrounding area, Microsoft Translator requires you take a picture of it first and let it overlay the translation after processing the photo.
It gets the job done, but it’s not quite as efficient as Google Translate’s nearly instant translations.
Waygo is the most limited Android app to translate words instantly but it fits perfectly for this niche. It only carries out Chinese, Korean, and Japanese translation to English. Besides, it works on the fly like Google Translate does.
When you open the app, choose the language you're translating from. Above the camera button, select whether you need to translate a single line of text or several so that the camera adjusts accordingly.
It also unfortunately limits you to just 10 translations per day, but offers several in-app purchases to upgrade. The most useful for someone on a vacation or business trip is the one-day pass for $1.99, but you can also unlock all languages forever for $11.99.