When Microsoft Translator was released a few months ago, I went through an extensive comparison between it and Google Translate and came out impressed by Microsoft's efforts, but not completely swayed. At the time, Translator had a major advantage in its Android Wear support (a gap that Google has since closed) but lacked many other features like offline functionality, camera view, and most importantly the live conversation mode. Well, Translator has now jumped that last hurdle and added natural conversation support in its app.
The mode works for a few select languages already: Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, with more promised to be added in the future. Where Microsoft one-ups Google, however, is in using Android Wear as a second screen and microphone for one of the parties in that conversation. Instead of passing your phone back and forth to the foreign person you're trying to talk to, you can simply use your watch and give them the phone for example. When you talk, the translation appears on the phone, and when they talk, the translation shows up on your watch's screen. That's super cool. And finally those live conversations will be saved to your history and geotagged so you can review them in case you want to check something you were told during the chat.
• Have natural conversations in Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. More languages are coming soon!
• Use your smart watch and phone together to enable conversations without huddling around a single phone
• Translator conversation history is tagged with your location and reviewable in any participating language
The update is now live in the Play Store so you can go ahead and give it a try from the links below.
- Microsoft Office Blogs