When it comes time to learn a new language on a mobile device (what, you haven't?), Duolingo is the first that comes to mind. But let's say you've completed everything that app has to offer - what then? Lingua.ly has arrived for Android, and it's ready to help newcomers learn any of over twenty languages.
Looking to learn English? I know a little green bird that just might help you out. Duolingo has been around for years now, but it remains one of the best apps available for learning a new language on a mobile device. Now thanks to the latest update, Duolingo is ready to help Dutch, Hungarian, Russian, and Turkish speakers learn English.
Update: Duolingo has also added English-learning support for Polish speakers.
Google Translate is a pretty great tool, but it's only useful if it actually works where you need it. Today it works in even more places, as Google has updated both the web service and the Android app with nine new languages, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Here's the full list:
- Hausa (Harshen Hausa) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
- Igbo (Asụsụ Igbo) - Nigeria
- Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
- Somali (Af-Soomaali) - Somalia and other countries around the Horn of Africa
- Zulu (isiZulu) spoken in South Africa and other south-western African countries
- Mongolian (Монгол хэл) - Mongolia
- Nepali (नेपाली) - Nepal and India
- Punjabi language (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (Gurmukhi script) - India and Pakistan
- Maori (Te Reo Māori) - New Zealand
All together, the updated languages cover more than 225 million native speakers around the world.
Just by tapping the microphone icon in the search bar, English speakers can ask Google any number of questions and have their phone respond in their native language. Thus far, others haven't been so lucky. But now Google is expanding that functionality to more languages. Starting today, French, German, and Japanese speakers shall also be able to ask their Android devices questions and hear answers spoken in the same tongue.
The changes should take place server-side, so you don't have to wait for a update (as long as you already have the latest version, that is).
It looks like Google isn't done adding goodies to the latest round of updates for the official Search app. The hotword for activating the voice search function is now "Ok Google," and it also works while looking at results, not just from the standard search screen. You'll need Search 2.8.7 (grab the APK here if you don't have it yet) and an updated English (US) language pack to see the new functionality.
Duolingo, the much-loved app/game for learning new languages, got its second significant Android update this morning since being released back in May. Version 1.2 of the app brings with it the ability to store up to an hour of lessons on-device for offline use. Previously, Duolingo required an always-on internet connection in order to download your lessons and stay in sync with the server, but with the latest update this is no longer necessary.
Yesterday, we finally decided to get to the bottom of Google Keep's new font, Roboto Slab. Shortly before that, however, we had an internal discussion about Keep's strange UI/UX. The app is beautiful – there's no denying that – but weird when considered alongside Google's other in-house apps. What's more, I'm of the opinion that the app isn't just a one-off in terms of design – I think that Keep, along with a few other hints, could give us some insight into what we'll see in the next version of Android (which we might see in May at Google I/O).
Google Translate has always been one of the unsung heroes of the free service space. On the one hand, it doesn't provide a perfect translation, so people are still hesitant to call it a true breakthrough. On the other hand, we use it all the time to translate web pages enough to get the gist and, when combined with speech-to-text and text-to-speech, you can use the Android app as the closest thing to a universal translator in your pocket the world has ever seen.
Another day, another beta update from Swype. Today, the company announced a new version that brings a enhances a few features including adding Advanced Language Models for Hindi and Belgian Dutch. The overall tap responsiveness has been improved. The Smart Editor and Word Choice List (in Polaris Office) behaviors have also been refined.
Here's the full change log:
Swype Beta v188.8.131.5205
- Advanced Language Models added for Hindi and Belgian Dutch
- Responsiveness for tap input improved for all languages
- Improved overall Smart Editor behavior and implemented some bug fixes
- Fixed a Gingerbread crash that occurred when rotating device into landscape mode
- Fixed miscellaneous crashes reported by the Beta community
- Fixed an issue where default Android voice input ('mic'/'microphone') icon displayed instead of Dragon logo
- Changed subtype text in notification drawer to be more accurate
- Word Choice List behavior improved in Polaris Office
- And many more bug fixes and improvements!
Speaking two (or more) languages is cool. Typing in two or more character sets is decidedly less cool. Bilingual speakers who know, say, English and Spanish can have an easy enough time typing since they share a (mostly) common Latin alphabet. However, English/Hindi speakers may have a harder time bouncing between scripts because they use entirely different character sets. Enter Google.
In addition to providing a regular Hindi keyboard (below, right) which takes up multiple pages of letters, this app also offers a transliteration keyboard.