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The following post continues the Mobile Monday Series reviewing various apps for mobile devices that help doing genealogy while you are on the go. If you haven't been following this series be sure to check previous posts:
The other night I came across a new app available in the App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch.The app is called Word Lens.
Word Lens accesses your phone's camera and will translate text into Spanish or vice versa. Immediately when I was watching the video, which is located below, I thought of the significance this could be when doing your genealogy research and you come across a document that you need to translate.
This app probably will not work that well with documents that were written by hand, but for those that are typed this app does a really good job.
Working the app is very simple. Just point your phone's camera at the text you are wanting to translate and almost instantly it will work it's magic. Check out a demo of this app in the video below.
As you can see from the video, the app is very easy to use.
I am sure that the developer of this app will also work on adding more languages as time goes on. Right after I saw this video I went into the App Store and to my surprise the app is free. However, right after I downloaded it I found out that the free version only includes the option to reverse the words or erase the words. In order to actually translate anything into either English or Spanish you have to purchase those individually for $4.99 each.
Other than the fact that you have to purchase the two language packages separately and the fact they are $5 each, I think this app is quite brilliant. I can only image seeing people in an archive or library with their phones pointing at a book or record translating it right then and there.
If you are not wanting to pay for the language packages, at least download the app and try out the demos allowing you to reverse the words or completely erase them. Who knows, maybe there will be another developer in the near future to make a similar app that may not cost as much.