Google Buys Visual Translation App 'Word Lens', Makes It Free for Limited Time

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 16, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Google has bought the popular iOS and Android visual translation app Word Lens to "incorporate [the] technology into Google Translate's broad language coverage", according to a statement on Quest Visual's website.

    The software uses a smartphone camera to translate signs in real time into the users native language. The technology is remarkable and used by many world travelers. Previously, translation packs were available as in-app purchases, but Quest Visual has made all the packs and the app itself free for a limited time.

    The company did not say how long the app will be available for free, so interested users should download it while it is available. Translations are available between English and Russian, Portuguese, German, Italian, French and Spanish.

    Word Lens is a free download from the App Store. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: Google Buys Visual Translation App 'Word Lens', Makes It Free for Limited Time
  2. Jakexb macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2014
    Oh snap. That app is in Apple's latest iphone commercial.
  3. iLoveiTunes macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
  4. Jamesellis macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2014
  5. seble macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2010
    Wow I downloaded this ap pages ago but deleted because of the cost, first thing I did was reinstall and get all of those free language packs!
  6. Mudbug Administrator emeritus


    Jun 28, 2002
    North Central Colorado
    I travel a good bit around the world, and this app is indispensable.

    get it while it's free - it was well worth the paid price.
  7. gmanist1000 macrumors 68030


    Sep 22, 2009
    I just did the same thing, it's actually very incredible how it works!
  8. Moonlight macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Awesome software, awesome price, too bad Google bought it
  9. troop231 macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
    Why? I'm sure the developers are thrilled to be financially set for life.
  10. polterbyte macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2012
  11. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    Maybe he is saying it's too bad that Google bought it because apple should have bought them out first. Which would mean kntegration into the camera app etc. now we just can dream and see if they make the app android only from here on in.
  12. benz240 macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2008
    I'm gonna guess around $300-400 million
  13. petsounds macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    Probably more like $30-$40 million, since this is a pure tech company. You only get into big numbers when you're dealing with an app with a large userbase.

    It's a shame Apple didn't buy this; it would've been an easy win. This is valuable tech, innovative enough for Apple to feature in their own commercials, and yet they left it sitting on the table for Google to snap up. I don't understand Apple's acquisition strategy sometimes -- they tend to focus their acquisitions on hardware and manufacturing companies, and the few software companies they buy (aside from NeXT) have not been impressive (looking at you, Chomp). Even though objectively speaking, Apple is falling behind in certain areas as compared with Google's software and services.
  14. Soy Cowboy macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2011
    I'm guessing that's Greek on the sign in the picture, but Greek isn't listed. Is it Russian? I'd get the ap if there were some Asian languages included. Oh well.


    Just noticed the top part. Never mind.
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Word Lens has always been free. They charge for the language modules. Perhaps MR could help us out here and tell us what has actually changed. I tried it in Italy last year. Though the tech has a real coolness factor, I'd rate it as only modestly useful in real-world situations. Many of the translations are actually quite comical, so if you want a laugh in a foreign country, it is really quite excellent.
  16. -LikesMac- macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    My thoughts

    Only thing that irritates me with this news is that Apple did not buy this app. :mad: It would have been great for iOS.

    With that said, getting this app right now.
  17. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    When I try to download the language packs from within the app for free, I get an in-app purchase error saying that there was an error purchasing the item. Anyone else having the same problem?
  18. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I got this app when it first came out. Man, it's been so long. Nice to get the packs.

    And I'm glad to see Google bought it. What took them so long?

    It's great technology.
  19. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Same problem
  20. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    I just bought the German language pack last week. Can I get a refund? :(

    Back to the topic. We'd better wish google will incorporate it into the Google translate app, not Android only.
  21. lk400 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 26, 2012
    Russian language must be useful, but Portuguese, Spanish, French are of limited use for English speakers. With some light study you can work out these languages fairly easily for basic understanding, and if you don't have the time for this, then you can type the words in to google translate. Sure this removes that step (when it works) but it would have real value if it translated languages with non roman letters like Chinese, Korean, Japanese etc. For those who can't read those scripts, there is no option for printed material. In that case this app would be more than a mere convenience and would add true value.
  22. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    Google Translate does not work offline.
  23. eac25 macrumors regular


    Sep 27, 2013
    ... somewhere under the rainbow ...
    It's articles like this that make me check on MR - nice to get tips about apps like this, especially when they go free for a limited time.
  24. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    A lot of things are not as useful when you yourself can do some extra things to do the work. But that's the point, they make things at least a bit if not more than just a bit simpler and/or faster.

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