Apple releases a new Translate app

Apple held its major annual developers conference online this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The keynote of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was held on 22nd June, 2020. The company showed off its latest operating systems for the future – updates to iOS, macOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, and also revealed its plan to move away from Intel chips to using its own custom Apple silicon in the Macs.

The update to the iPhone’s operating system – iOS 14 packs a lot of new features. However, one of the new features (app) that did not get much attention was the Translate app. Apple is going head to head with Google’s Translate app that is a best in class translator.

The design of the Apple Translate app is simple – select the language that is to be translated and the output (translated) language. Users can type in text on one side and the language will be automatically translated to the desired output language. The working of the app is very similar to Google’s translate app – that is expected – what can a translate app do differently?

The Apple translate apps will support 11 languages at launch – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The app is capable of holding onto users’ previous translations. Users will be able to look back and check all the past translations (we do not yet know how long or how many).

To maintain privacy of data, Apple will use the company’s Neural Engine which is capable of handling all the data locally on the device such as an iPhone. The app reportedly does use the internet to translate but it can also be used offline. However, it has been reported that the quality of offline translations are not on par with the translations done when connected to the internet.

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