Those iPhone ads which boasted how iPhone could convert a menu written in some zombie, illegible language to English by just hovering the camera over it in real-time was indeed fascinating.
The ultra-cool, futuristic iOS app which can translate signs, newspapers, menus and almost anything written legibly into another language has paved its way to Android and is now up for grabs in the Play Store. [Download link]
When we tested the Android version of the app, we found the build to be pretty solid and the interface to be quirky. As we know it doesn’t need a data connection and you would need to download the language packs and select the direction of translation (English ⇆ Italian or Italian ⇆ English).
However, Word Lens does not read many lines and you would need to scroll the sentence over patiently for it to work perfectly. It’s also shaky and bumpy at times. You would need to keep your hand extremely steady for Word Lens to capture and decipher the meaning for you.
Nevertheless, it’s an app you would love to show-off to your friends. Just point your camera and focus on any unintelligible banner and Abracadabra! It’s tangible. It’s great for boring parties and ideal for people who travel round the globe. You may end up reading new languages or perhaps, you might start believing that you don’t need to learn everything, when you have something so subtle and adroit.
That being said, we have to accept this- the Word Lens on Android is far more shoddy, obscure and half-baked than the iOS version. This adheres to the story-line followed by manifold apps which switch from iOS to Android. Nor is the interface that intuitive and dynamic, nor is it released a tad earlier. Releasing a app after almost a decade of its iOS release, makes no sense.
That brings us to the million-dollar question: Why do most developers incessantly choose Apple over Android? Is it money, market or perhaps a soft corner?
Let us know, if you see it through your lens.