iTranslate Voice for iPhone and iPad review
iTranslate Voice from Sonico Mobile makes light work of communicating in a range of languages by translating on the fly. Thanks to some clever technology, which Sonico suggests is "sophisticated voice recognition and machine translation software," users can communicate clearly and precisely by simply talking into their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Interestingly, it's revealed in the credits to be Nuance and Microsoft Translator powering the app.
A simple interface, rather bare on the iPad, shows two button shaped microphones, each with the flag of the country you want to translate from and too. Tap to speak, tap the button again when you stop speaking, and both a written version of your speech and translation quickly appears, along with an audio translation, complete with convincing accent. It's all very simple, mostly accurate and greatly impressive, not least as iTranslate Voice can currently be had for as little as 69p, an absolute bargain. These speech and translation tools may be available elsewhere with a little digging, but Sonico wraps them up in an easy to use, attractive bundle.
For those who still like to type, or have a particularly strong accent, you can input your query using a keyboard activated by holding down the microphone button for a second or two. Punctuation can be added to translations, simply by saying them out loud. Sonico provides a useful FAQ that lists which languages are currently supported, a list that should grow as updates become available. It's worth noting that the app requires Wi-Fi or 3G to work, so if you’re stuck out in the wilds far from civilisation, or simply in a reception blackspot, you may be out of luck. Sonico also adds that iTranslate Voice isn't a substitute for a professional translator and we'd suggest neither is it an excuse not to learn another language.
If you plan to travel or simply want to communicate better with the cosmopolitan world on your doorstep, then iTranslate Voice from Sonico Mobile really is an essential app. We can't claim to be multilingual, and at times struggle with English, but online feedback suggests translation is consistently good and accurate whatever the language, which has to be a good thing.