Google debuts the Google Translate app for iPhone

“Back in August 2008, we launched a Google Translate HTML5 web app for iPhone users,” Wenzhang Zhu blogs for The Official Google Mobile Blog. “Today, the official Google Translate for iPhone app is available for download from the App Store. The new app has all of the features of the web app, plus some significant new additions designed to improve your overall translation experience.”

“The new app accepts voice input for 15 languages, and—just like the web app—you can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages. For voice input, just press the microphone icon next to the text box and say what you want to translate,” Zhu reports. “You can also listen to your translations spoken out loud in one of 23 different languages. This feature uses the same new speech synthesizer voices as the desktop version of Google Translate we introduced last month.”

“Another feature that might come in handy is the ability to easily enlarge the translated text to full-screen size. This way, it’s much easier to read the text on the screen, or show the translation to the person you are communicating with. Just tap on the zoom icon to quickly zoom in,” Zhu reports. “And the app also includes all of the major features of the web app, including the ability to view dictionary results for single words, access your starred translations and translation history even when offline, and support romanized text like Pinyin and Romaji.”

Zhu reports, “You can download Google Translate now from the App Store globally. The app is available in all iOS supported languages, but you’ll need an iPhone or iPod touch iOS version 3 or later.”

Full article here.

More info and download link for the Google Translate app for iPhone (free) via Apple’s iTunes App Store here.


  1. Presumably this only works when on-line ?

    It’s something that I could make great use of on my travels, but I wouldn’t be able to afford the data roaming charges associated with being away from my home country.

  2. Alan,

    It stores your translation history. So you could prerecord all of those needed questions like ‘which way to the airport?’ and ‘where can I find a hooker?’

  3. @ big Al,

    if I knew in advance what I wanted to ask, I could just create crib sheets and call them up.

    The useful thing about this app is it’s ability to translate instantly when you need a particular word instantly, but because of the way that telecoms companies charge extortionate rates for data roaming, it’s a non-starter unless you have WiFi available, or somebody else is paying your roaming bill. The place where I would most want to use this has neither WiFi, broadband or a cellular radio signal.

  4. Awesome app!

    For those disappointed by Google’s failure to include an overseas data plan bundled with the free app, I suggest using the app here in the USA. There are plenty of places domestically where it would be helpful to ask ‘Where can I find a hooker?’ in a foreign language.

    I’m just sayin’ …

  5. As much as I get tired of Google-Evil (Android BS, web tracking surveillance…), there is SO MUCH GOOGLE-GOOD! This app is an example.

    Much as Google set themselves up for zero-dimensional analysis (on-off, good-evil, 1-0), they’re just another multi-dimensional spectrum company with brilliant/wonderful to worthless/crap ideas. What’s great about them is that amidst the standard whatever, the plagiarism, the mixed levels of Marketing-Moron and Consumption-Of-The-Customer garbage, a lot of their work is pure innovation designed to benefit everyone. That is what makes them stand out from the biznizz as usual louts.
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  6. @AlanAudio

    That’s why you unlock (or buy full price unlocked) iPhone for, then get a SIM card overseas.

    (Unless you have a CDMA unit, of course, then you’re stuck to Verizon forever).

  7. Great! Now Google wants to store all of my conversations in foreign conversations. This app is still a ploy to get your data. Google is proud that they retain all of the data they collect about you. THAT is the reason I tell people all the time not to purchase any Android device. If they don’t want (or like) Apple’s wares, fine get a Blackberry, get a Nokia phone, get a Microsoft Windows phone. Don’t get an Android device. Don’t trust Google.

    Some Google exec on an interview on CNBC says it all comes down to a matter of trust. I don’t trust Google and I never will.

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