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iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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With iOS 8 bringing support for system wide third-party keyboards for the first time, developers have been coming up with creative ways to introduce new functionality to the keyboard, beyond simply making it quicker to type.

Translator Keyboard is a new third-party keyboard designed to allow users to quickly translate their text from one language to another, without the need for a separate translation app.
Translator Keyboard is able to provide a much simpler experience than the copy-paste workflow that many translation apps have had to settle for in the past. As well as making translation quicker and more convenient, Translator Keyboard is the perfect tool for bite-size translation, such as iMessaging colleagues abroad, participating in online chat or discussions in another language, or skypeing with those from another country.
To use Translator Keyboard, users simply need to select the language they plan to type in and a second language to translate to. A small bar above the keyboard displays what's being typed as it as entered, and when a sentence is complete, hitting the return button will submit it to be translated.

Translation from one language to another takes just a few seconds and the translated text is inserted directly into the text field. In Messages, for example, a user could type a sentence like "Hello, how are you?" in English, translate it to Spanish using the keyboard, and the person receiving the message would see only "Hola, ¿cómo estás?"

The app allows users to translate to 44 different languages and translate from 30 different languages, and switching between languages is done with a simple swipe on the keyboard.

Translator Keyboard is built using the Microsoft Translate API, and for that reason, it requires users to enable "Allow Full Access" because typed text is submitted for online translation. A privacy section within the app states that all text submitted for translation will be kept private and will not be stored or shared.

The app has built-in autocorrection that allows users to tap on a word that has been miscorrected to pull up a list of other possible word suggestions, which can be useful when attempting to type a word that needs a special character. More often, though, autocorrect makes it difficult to type in a language that is not English as every other word has to be fixed, slowing typing considerably. Disabling autocorrect is not currently possible, but according to the developer, the option will be added in a future update.

Along with autocorrect issues, there are a few minor problems with the keyboard, such as its inability to allow users to backspace or delete content in the main text field (deleting something that's been entered requires switching to another keyboard), but it provides a useful way to conduct a conversation in two different languages via an app like Messages or make quick translations in an app like Notes.

Translator Keyboard can be downloaded from the App Store for $1.99. [Direct Link]

Article Link: iOS 8 Translator Keyboard Introduces Easy Access Language Translation Capabilities
 

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,914
2,879
long island NY
Does anyone know if keyboards like this in general that need access to what you type only have it when using said keyboard or always? Just wondering.
 
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violaboy

macrumors member
Sep 7, 2007
88
0
great idea, but needs work

Didn't work at all for me. Phone froze up a bit, then keyboard wouldn't return at all. Plus you can't use the microphone to transcribe text. Hopefully updates soon, because it's a great idea!
 
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jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,717
3,474
California
Didn't work at all for me. Phone froze up a bit, then keyboard wouldn't return at all. Plus you can't use the microphone to transcribe text. Hopefully updates soon, because it's a great idea!

I haven't had this issue with this particular keyboard, but with some others I've had it freeze and then the keyboard disappears completely. Seems to fix itself when I quit out of the app that was using the keyboard, not sure if that would help here.
 
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Alisstar

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2008
357
26
Orlando, FL
I've been hoping for something like this to come natively to iOS. Not to translate, but for autocorrect. I would like to be able to type in any language, and for the OS to be smart enough to detect what language I'm using, and provide suggestions accordingly.

Doesn't OS X already do that to a certain extent? It would seem to me like it would be a decent feature to add in a future iOS update.
 
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MacBH928

Contributor
May 17, 2008
5,378
2,103
Switching languages in iOS keyboard is a very annoying process especially if you have Emoji. Non-latin letters languages have to constantly to switch keyboards for stuff like writing emails, urls, tweet mentions and such.

Unfortunately I do not see this as the solution.
 
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SgtPepper23

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2010
167
38
Los Angeles, California
i'd like to try this out, since i'm constantly switching from English to French or Spanish. but as mentioned above, Babelfish-class translations? Maybe not... Great idea though! i'll just continue struggling with my French!
 
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Jeffoz

macrumors newbie
Oct 2, 2014
2
0
Didn't work at all for me. Phone froze up a bit, then keyboard wouldn't return at all. Plus you can't use the microphone to transcribe text. Hopefully updates soon, because it's a great idea!

You have to activate first in the settings "Give full access" otherwise it freezes like you say.

----------

I downloaded it and it works quite well. I'm dutch and my girlfriend is polish but we communicate in english.

Now i've said something in English and she sees this as Polish which is nice. But then comes the problem. She has android or even if she had iOS but didn't use this keyboard. She talks back to me in polish... But the keyboard of course doesn't translate this so i have no clue what she is saying..

In that case you can't have converstations...
 
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mainstreetmark

macrumors 68020
May 7, 2003
2,228
293
Saint Augustine, FL
Ok, so you can type in English, but the reply is in the foreign language that you presumably do not understand. Is everybody living in the Star Wars universe? I'm not sure i understand what this is for.
 
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Jeffoz

macrumors newbie
Oct 2, 2014
2
0
Ok, so you can type in English, but the reply is in the foreign language that you presumably do not understand. Is everybody living in the Star Wars universe? I'm not sure i understand what this is for.

Yes, this is weird. I've send the developer this thing and hopes he will reply as it can be really usefull for me but not how it is right now.
 
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mrgraff

macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2010
1,011
696
Albuquerque
"Translator Keyboard is able to provide a much simpler experience than the copy-paste workflow that many translation apps have had to settle for in the past."

Perhaps, but I must say I've never really had a problem switching back-and-forth between the free Google translate app and wherever I was typing.
 
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petsounds

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,483
497
This thing should be an Action Extension, not a full-blown keyboard. But Apple also needs to make Action Extensions available from the text field options popup and not just via the "Share" button.
 
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mrsirio

macrumors newbie
Oct 2, 2014
1
0
Switching languages in iOS keyboard is a very annoying process especially if you have Emoji. Non-latin letters languages have to constantly to switch keyboards for stuff like writing emails, urls, tweet mentions and such.

Unfortunately I do not see this as the solution.

SwiftKey let you switch between languages without any action needed...
 
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manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
7,004
2,860
Yes, this is weird. I've send the developer this thing and hopes he will reply as it can be really usefull for me but not how it is right now.
The keyboard 'app' won't have access to incoming texts, so there is no way the developer could fix this. Either the opposite side is using the same keyboard 'app' (or something similar) or the app itself would need to be a messaging app.

Although, app extensions in general can in some apps also read and act on text, eg, in browsers. Whether that is possible inside the messages app, is something I don't know.
 
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okaris

macrumors newbie
Oct 11, 2014
1
0
Interpreter - Translating Keyboard Extension for iOS8 is now available

The keyboard 'app' won't have access to incoming texts, so there is no way the developer could fix this. Either the opposite side is using the same keyboard 'app' (or something similar) or the app itself would need to be a messaging app.

Although, app extensions in general can in some apps also read and act on text, eg, in browsers. Whether that is possible inside the messages app, is something I don't know.

We have just released our translating keyboard (was scheduled to launch in late September but, Apple -right?)

It is a complete experience that lets you also translate incoming text.

I would be glad if you'd take a look and let me know what you guys think.

http://www.okaris.com/#/interpreter/
 
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