Google Translate Comes to iPhone

August 8th, 2008 at 12:00 am

google translate iphone

Language translations have always been limited to phrase books and cassette tapes or CD’s for the longest time.  When the internet came along, there was some ease to translating phrases especially with Babel Fish which gained popularity prompting Google to come up with their own translation service.

However, those who need translating most of the time are travellers on the move, this renders web based tranlators useless and users are forced to revert back to the trusty phrase book when in a foreign country.  This is about to change.

The iPhone is the most hyped up and therefore popular mobile device on the market today.  It’s become a platform itself and developers and companies are gladly making apps and programs for the iPhone.  Google has seen its potential to replace the phrase book.

Google Translate, a language translation service, has been on the web to counter the popularity of BabelFish and translate web pages into different languages.  Today, they’ve released an iPhone optimized version that can do pretty much the same thing, translate phrases to and from the 23 languages it supports.

"Google Translate for iPhone is optimized for speed, supports all of the existing Google Translate language pairs, and uses a client-side data-store on your iPhone to hang on to your past translations so you always have them at hand, even if you can’t use the local data network." [Official Statement]

Moreover, Google software engineer Allen Hutchison notes that the tool uses as minimal an amount of data as possible, so it won’t break the bank while you’re abroad and incur massive data roaming charges from your carrier. Hutchison says the general number of translations is anywhere between 200-400 per 1MB of data, which is quite a few considering data can cost you at least $0.005 per KB while abroad (depending the carrier).