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In a WWDC 2024 coding video last week, Apple highlighted a recently-introduced API that allows developers to offer built-in Translate app capabilities in their own apps on iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, macOS Sonoma, and later.

iOS-17-4-Translate-App-API.jpeg

While the iPhone, iPad, and Mac already offer a system-level translation function for highlighted text, websites viewed in Safari, and more, the API provides a convenient solution for user-generated content like reviews. For example, if a user writes a review in Japanese, the text can be quickly translated to other languages.

iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia enhance the API by allowing translated text to appear in-line within an app, instead of in an overlaid Translate sheet.

iOS-18-Translate-App-API.jpeg

Another language-related change on iOS 18 is bilingual keyboard support. For example, you can type in English and Korean on the same keyboard without having to manually switch languages, complete with word suggestions in each language.

iOS-18-Multilingual-Keyboard.jpeg

iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia are currently in beta for developers. The software updates will be released later this year.

Article Link: iPhone Apps Can Integrate With Apple's Translate App on iOS 17.4 and Later
 
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mjs916

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2018
785
963
Sacramento, CA
iOS 18 looking to be a very good update. Here's to hoping Apple squashes most bugs before release so I don't have to wait until 18.3 or 18.4
I’m concerned because it’s such a big update all around. Very little is untouched from what I can tell. If they somehow nail it and it’s a stable update too I’ll be massively grateful… and will
Expect nothing less going forward lol
 
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mongobongo

macrumors 6502
May 1, 2007
323
503
Stockholm, Sweden
The keyboard has been bilingual since iOS 10 actually. They just made it more obvious by adding the letters to the space bar
Only for a very limited number of languages. If they finally add Swedish to that list it will be by far my favourite new feature in iOS 18 😂

 

clive27

macrumors regular
Nov 7, 2014
136
369
Los Angeles, CA
I hope that Siri will soon be able to speak bilingually without requiring changes to the settings, just like the bilingual keyboard support. As a Korean American, I use my Korean contacts' names in Korean and chat in Korean, while everything else is in English. Currently, I can only set Siri to either English or Korean. English Siri doesn’t speak Korean at all, and Korean Siri speaks English like a native Korean who has never spoken English before. I wish Siri could detect the language automatically and use the appropriate speech. Maybe the ChatGPT integration will fix that.
 

PsykX

macrumors 68030
Sep 16, 2006
2,503
3,455
I'm using the Translate app quite a lot these days on my 14 Pro with iOS 17.4 and... is it just me or if it's just so damn buggy, to the point where it's almost useless ?
Sometimes you submit and it doesn't do anything, then you press play to read it out loud and it doesn't (yes, I checked the sound). Even closing-reopening the app doesn't work. I have to restart the phone 😪
And when you submit something, you can't even change the text back if it understood you incorrectly.

One of my friends has an Android phone and it's night and day. His native Translate app works so much better, I was ashamed and jealous for once.
 
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Seoras

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2007
768
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Scotsman in New Zealand
As an loan App publisher one of the hardest things to offer with my Apps is translations in other languages.
There's good support in Xcode and iOS for offering languages, Android too.
The extra over head on top of the development and support work to maintain an App becomes too time consuming for one person if you work alone.
You need to maintain App Store listing strings and screen shots for each language you support on top of making sure you update all the strings you've added or altered between version with the languages you support.

I've been hoping that AI will solve this soon and this API is a great start to moving in that direction.
 

Drs247

macrumors newbie
Dec 30, 2021
23
32
If only the translate app didn’t suck…
As a French, I second you. DeepL etc. are still way better. And I am talking French <> English translations. Can't even imagine what it might be like for lesser spoken languages. That said, the list of languages it can translate is not very long either.
 

michaeljk

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2013
146
182
WeChat already has auto translate capabilities built in, meaning you can record a message in English (my native language) and the receiver (everyone in my wife's family) can just hit a button on the side of the recording and WeChat will translate my audio into Chinese text. Also, I can have chats in which my counterpart writes in Chinese (Simplified Mandarin) and it comes to me automatically translated to English, and it goes the other way too. Why can WeChat make this so simple, but Apple cannot?
 

ellpee

macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2024
27
50
You gotta be nuts to rely on any of these translate apps for anything you’re sharing with the public.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
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11,257
The keyboard has been bilingual since iOS 10 actually. They just made it more obvious by adding the letters to the space bar
Which I never found its usefulness and still switches languages depending on what I want to use at the moment. I’ll see how much better this new version goes.
 

contacos

macrumors 603
Nov 11, 2020
5,057
19,533
Mexico City living in Berlin
Which I never found its usefulness and still switches languages depending on what I want to use at the moment. I’ll see how much better this new version goes.

Why not? I always use English and German on the same keyboard and have not had any issue. It automatically knows I write English with a friend from Australia while it automatically suggests German with my friends from Germany unless I use 2+ English words in the beginning of a sentence.

Always found it annoying to switch between Keyboard Language A > Emoji keyboard > Language B
 
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Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
15,882
11,257
WeChat already has auto translate capabilities built in, meaning you can record a message in English (my native language) and the receiver (everyone in my wife's family) can just hit a button on the side of the recording and WeChat will translate my audio into Chinese text. Also, I can have chats in which my counterpart writes in Chinese (Simplified Mandarin) and it comes to me automatically translated to English, and it goes the other way too. Why can WeChat make this so simple, but Apple cannot?
Must have been waiting patiently for this “Apple Intelligence” kek.
Maybe Apple believes AI will solve all of these problems well enough.
 

Frantisekj

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2017
616
417
Deep inside Europe :-)
Unfortunately apple’s translate app is inferior to Google’s in almost every way. Hopefully they can pull a Maps and make it useful someday.
App maybe but since google never allowed integration within system, probably to give Android edge, system integration by Apple is not bad in it second iteration. Now it seems even better but.....

Only for a very limited number of languages. If they finally add Swedish to that list it will be by far my favourite new feature in iOS 18 😂

... because of damn few languages it is useful just for information understanding. If I can not translate to my mother language, it has very limited usage.
If they train it more with AI, it can get even better. Otherwise one has to use DeepL or Yandex that integrate with system.
Reasonable number of languages is my top priority of any iOS update but do not hope.

Anyone on beta can tell it here are any new languages?
 

Frantisekj

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2017
616
417
Deep inside Europe :-)
As a French, I second you. DeepL etc. are still way better. And I am talking French <> English translations. Can't even imagine what it might be like for lesser spoken languages. That said, the list of languages it can translate is not very long either.
DeepL is very good. Using it often but it is not magic bullet. Sometimes Google gives better result sometimes built translation in Telegram that I use often gives more sense and vise versa. But generally is maybe the best.
But neither DeepL offers many languages and they lowered limit to 1500 characters. Very limiting.
 

Frantisekj

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2017
616
417
Deep inside Europe :-)
Why not? I always use English and German on the same keyboard and have not had any issue. It automatically knows I write English with a friend from Australia while it automatically suggests German with my friends from Germany unless I use 2+ English words in the beginning of a sentence.

Always found it annoying to switch between Keyboard Language A > Emoji keyboard > Language B
You are lucky then. Our keyboard should be also bilingual already, Czech-English, but it is mess. Czech speller is mess.

I use up 8 language keyboards occasionally. Some apps do not remember language of particular conversation what results in nightmare of constant wrong keyboard.
On top of that when you switch from wrong keyboard in the middle of word, say from English to Czech, it "corrects" that word into English recommendation. So annoying. Not talking about it should be bilingual keyboard. But it seems that it is only one way. It supports English on Czech keyboard.

Very frustrating experience for "It just works"
 

Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
15,882
11,257
Why not? I always use English and German on the same keyboard and have not had any issue. It automatically knows I write English with a friend from Australia while it automatically suggests German with my friends from Germany unless I use 2+ English words in the beginning of a sentence
That’s more of a contextual awareness than anything, say iOS knows you use this language often in this app so it defaults to said language when you use that application. At least that’s what I see. Here I’m using iOS 18 but still no visible “multilingual support” in my system.
 

mongobongo

macrumors 6502
May 1, 2007
323
503
Stockholm, Sweden
That’s more of a contextual awareness than anything, say iOS knows you use this language often in this app so it defaults to said language when you use that application. At least that’s what I see. Here I’m using iOS 18 but still no visible “multilingual support” in my system.
No it's not. That's actually a multilingual keyboard that can tell which language you are typing and switch accordingly. Only a few languages support this. You can check the link I posted previously to Apples support document.

Since I only type in English and Swedish (Swedish does not support multilingual keyboard) I can tell you that for the most part there is no contextual awareness. It actually blows my mind that iOS cannot remember which keyboard I use in different apps and conversations. In lieu of true multilingual keyboard support for Swedish, this kind of contextual awareness would be incredibly useful. In fact, now that I think about it, that would work just as well for me. Just as long as I don't have to switch keyboards all the time.

The worst part is you can't switch keyboards mid word without autocorrecting to the wrong word first.
 
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