Microsoft has been doing some curious things of late, regarding Android. They’ve put together an excellent new Android Launcher, Office has finally become available for all Android users and now they’re taking on Google Translate. The Microsoft Translator app has been launched with support for both Android Wear and the Apple Watch and dare I say it, the Microsoft Translator app is better than Google’s own on my G Watch R. It’s a free download, and while it’s not perfect, it’s infinitely more usable than Google’s own.
Android Wear apps rely on some fairly generic swipes, swipe right for more, left for back or to close for instance, and there’s not much you can do with an interface, really. Microsoft have figured out a way however, with this nifty little app. You tap the mic to speak and have your English or other language translated to something else, swipe right to access your pinned translations, left for recent translations and swipe up for the easiest way to change a setting I have ever seen. It really is that simple, and for a number of languages, your smartphone will blurt out the translation in the native tongue for extra help.
Testing things out and it’s easy to see where this has flaws. Translating to Spanish from English is nice and easy, it recognised everything I had to say in English quickly and clearly, and then my phone spoke the Spanish aloud. However, when trying out Greek, it didn’t speak the language aloud as Microsoft haven’t added this functionality yet, and as Greek uses a different alphabet altogether, the resulting text was pretty useless. I didn’t find a way to show the phonetical way of saying these phrases either, and wish there was a way to get this on my wrist. I was pretty impressed with how usable the whole thing is.
Either way, the app is quicker and easier to use than the Google Translate app, and it does a great job of working towards Android Wear’s strengths, rather than its weaknesses. Those looking to try it out can do so from the Google Play link below.