Microsoft's Translator app lags behind Google's own offering, but the Redmond company is slowly catching up. In an update to Microsoft Translator for Android the company has added two new features: the ability to translate text from saved images, and an option to translate text anywhere on your phone. The update also brings the total number of languages available for download and offline use up to 43.
Image translation has been available in Microsoft's iOS app since February, and on the company's Windows Phone app since 2010. "With the new image translation feature [...] you no longer need to type text or say foreign languages phrases out loud," said the company in a blog post. "Instead you can translate pictures instantly from your phone, with the translation appearing in an overlay above the existing text." The inline translation feature appears as an option alongside cut, copy, and paste when users highlight text.
Not all translation features are equal though. While Google's Translator app works with live images from your camera and matches the appearance of the translated text to the source font, Microsoft's Translator app requires users to snap a picture before it can work its magic, and even then just overlays the translation onto the image using a default font. On the other hand, Google's app only has offline translation on Android, whereas for Microsoft it's available on both Android and iOS. Pick the app that's right for your situation, basically.