Microsoft has updated its Bing Translator app for Windows Phone with a number of impressive features. First up is an augmented reality translator, which uses the phone's camera and overlays text in your native language within a couple of seconds. It's an interesting take on the search by image or video idea that's been popularized by Google Googles on Android, but is swift enough (and largely accurate enough) to make on-the-go translation feasible. It's similar to Word Lens for iOS, though looks to offer a far broader range of languages — while Word Lens only supports English, French, and Spanish, Bing can interpret English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Simplified Chinese.
Other new features include a conversation mode, which translates speech and allows users to have conversations in other languages, and a new live tile, which teaches you a new word in your chosen language each day.
Possibly the biggest advance here is that you can now download language packs to your handset prior to your trip, allowing the app to work in offline mode. This is a real advance over Google Translate, which relies on servers in order to deliver its results. The Bing Translator app's available now for free from the Windows Phone Marketplace.