Reviewed in Form+Function
Word Lens isn't the prettiest app around, but boy does it make up for that with its usefulness. Point the camera at some text, say a menu in French, and the app will overlay the English translation over said text. You can translate Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and a few more languages into English, and vice versa. The best part is you don't even need an internet connection, so you won't have to worry about crazy roaming fees.
Reviewed in Essentials for newbies
If you are new to smartphones and want to see what the future might hold, this is an interesting app! Recently acquired by Google, Word Lens is a translation app that uses augmented reality to translate text in the real world. Hold your phone up against a sign in a foreign language, and your screen will display the translated text on top of the image. Mind blowing.
Reviewed in Wishlist for Built-In OS Features
Translation of Physical World Text: Word Lens Translator can recognise and translate printed text from the physical world, using the device's camera. Moreover, it doesn't require an internet connection to look up translations. It has only 6 language pairs to choose from. But, it can prove quite useful, compared to the current version of Google Translate. Speaking of Google Translate, the developer of Word Lens Translate has been acquired by Google. This will likely lead to offline text-recognition input being a more useful feature in a future version of Google Translate.
Instantly translate printed words with your phone’s camera! Word Lens gives you translation on the go:
- NO NETWORK required - results appear immediately on your video screen when you need it, anywhere in the world.
- Easy to use, like the regular camera
- Look up translations by typing them in, or clicking on a word.
Available language pairs:
+ English ⇆ Russian
+ English ⇆ Spanish
+ English ⇆ French
+ English ⇆ Italian
+ English ⇆ German
+ English ⇆ Portuguese
Notes for getting the best quality out of your translations:
- Best used on clearly printed text (e.g. signs, menus)
- DOES NOT recognize handwriting or stylized fonts
- It's not perfect, but you can get the general meaning!
- Keep text in focus by holding it at least one hand-length away and tap-to-focus if autofocus is struggling.
- Turn on the flashlight (if available on your device)
- Zoom in (if available on your device)
Some features are device dependent. Not all device cameras can zoom, nor do all devices have a flashlight.
Having trouble? We want to hear from you! Email us at:
Hardware Controls: Take Pictures and Videos: Used to access the camera so we can translate what it sees.