Apps and Software Guide
Google Translate for Android Adds Offline Support
Good news for Android users. Google is making its Google Translate app for Android available offline, by launching its offline language packages for mobile devices running on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform and later, with support for fifty languages, from French and Spanish to Chinese and Arabic.
Users simply need to select "Offline Languages" in the app menu to view all the offline language packages available for download. Then, to enable offline translation between any two languages, select them in the offline languages menu. You'll be set once the packages are downloaded. While the offline models are less comprehensive than their online equivalents, they are perfect for translating in a pinch when you are traveling abroad with poor reception or without mobile data access.
With Google's voice recognition technology for most prominent languages, users just have to change the setting to "Conversation" mode, then speak into their phones. The app will even read the translation aloud. There's also the handwriting feature in case you can't say or type what you want translated.
Additionally, Google is introducing camera-input support for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Tap the camera icon, snap a picture of the text, and brush your finger over the part you want translated. It now even works for vertical text for the three languages. If you were ever stumped on what to order at a countertop Japanese sushi place, fear no more: just take a photo of the menu item, brush your finger over the bit you want translated, and voila.
The app also lets you save commonly used phrases into Favorites. Simply click the star by the top of the translated text to save the translation in your Favorites for easy access next time.