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Sonico’s iTranslate is great for quickly converting text to other languages while on the go, but it’s less handy for actually holding a conversation with someone speaking a different tongue. Thankfully, the developer has just refreshed its companion app, which harnesses the power of voice as well. The all-new iTranslate Voice 2 has been updated stem to stern for iOS 7, headlined by universal support that allows it to run natively on the iPad for the first time. Unlike other apps touting so-called iOS 7-powered improvements, this major update actually delivers them on at least two fronts.
First is support for offline voices, which are part of numerous accessibility enhancements Apple delivered with iOS 7. This option allows iTranslate Voice 2 to produce translation results faster for 26 out of the 42 languages supported by the app, which made a noticeable difference in our tests. However, it’s important to note that you’ll still need an active Wi-Fi or cellular connection for the actual translation process.
iTranslate Voice 2’s AirTranslate feature is also improved, taking advantage of the same peer-to-peer iOS 7 technology utilized for AirDrop — which uses Bluetooth and an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network to connect a pair of iOS devices, making the process of translation more conversational as a result.
Using iTranslate Voice couldn’t be easier: Select the desired languages, tap the accompanying flag icon, speak into the microphone, and within seconds the translated text is shown on-screen as well as spoken aloud. Tests with native Russian and Ukrainian speakers were surprisingly fast with a high degree of accuracy, but text can be edited should the voice recognition not be quite perfect.
Tapping a specific translation lets you repeat audio playback, copy and paste, or share via email, SMS, Twitter, or Facebook, but sadly there’s no way to archive entire conversations for later reference. Last but not least, version 2 isn’t an update to the original – the app requires an entirely new purchase for all users.
The bottom line. iTranslate Voice 2 manages to leverage iOS 7 in very meaningful ways, and the addition of native iPad support means everyone can get in on the conversation.
iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 7.0 or later
Lightning-fast translation for 42 languages. Native iPad support. AirTranslate uses iOS 7 for peer-to-peer communication between devices.
No way to export entire conversations. Data connection required for actual translation. Requires new app purchase, even for owners of first version.