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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,559
19,314



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.

wordlens.jpg
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
 

seble

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2010
970
160
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!
 

gmanist1000

macrumors 68030
Sep 22, 2009
2,746
394
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!

I just did the same thing, it's actually very incredible how it works!
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,124
1,398
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.
 

petsounds

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,483
497
I'm gonna guess around $300-400 million

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.
 

Soy Cowboy

macrumors newbie
Jun 17, 2011
23
1
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.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,891
1,480
Palookaville
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.
 

-LikesMac-

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2010
429
23
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.
 

avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
2,940
3,843
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?
 

akm3

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2007
2,252
279
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?

Same problem
 

haruhiko

macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
6,310
5,176
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.
 

lk400

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2012
839
360
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.
 

haruhiko

macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
6,310
5,176
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.

Google Translate does not work offline.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,453
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.
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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