Google has released a native iPad app for its popular Translate web service. Since it's now a universal app, you now get both the iPhone and iPad clients for Google’s ubiquitous web back end for one great price — free. Translation quality depends strongly on the language, and the native iPad app doesn’t add any extra features the iPhone version was missing, but it’s great to have access to the software on another form factor. The app can translate typed text between 63 different languages (although only 17 of those support speech recognition, and only 24 support voice playback), and lets you save your translations for offline viewing.

Unfortunately, since it relies on Google’s web service, you’ll need an internet connection to use Translate, which limits its usefulness for travelers without 3G access, as well as those who don’t want to pay expensive roaming charges. Nevertheless, we’re impressed with Google’s effort and we'll be adding the iPad app to our linguistic arsenal.