Sometimes you just have the need to translate some words. The downside is that sometimes you have no way to translate some words. Whether you be at a swanky french restaurant and have no conceivable idea as to what any of the menu says, or perhaps are reading something on a sign or in a magazine that is in another language, the need for the translation would be a big benefit. The pictures give away that the text would probably interest you, but you can't read those languages so what are you to do? This is where the Word Lens Translator application would come in handy, as it uses your phones camera to translate printed words in real time without a data connection. It can do this because of the included language packs you'd have needed to download to pair with the app, so everything you'd need to translate printed words is stored right on your device.
As of today it seems that Google has bought the Word Lens Translator app through the actual purchase of the company that makes it called Quest Visual, and at some point, but not now, the app will cease to exist and Google will be integrating everything Word Lens Translator has to offer into their own Google Translate services and application. We're not sure what this means for users of Word Lens Translator, we'd imagine that if yo have the application already installed everything will continue working, but once it's pulled from the store and it no long er exists there will surely be no more updates. What it probably means is that what ever Word Lens Translator has to offer, Google Translate might offer in time.
One silver lining to this for those who have the Word Lens Translator app already installed or will be installing it soon,(while it's still up)is that all the language packs that are available through the app itself are free for a limited time. Previously they would set you back a certain amount, with some like the Spanish language pack reaching $5 according to one of the review comments on the app's Play Store page. Since the app is free, and now the language packs are free, you might as well pick it up as it could come in useful once in a while. The app doesn't claim to be perfect(it even states this in the app description)but it should provide you a decent enough usability in a pinch. Here's what the team at Quest Visual had to say about the acquisition: "With Word Lens, we've seen the beginnings of what's possible when we harness the power of mobile devices to "see the world in your language." By joining Google, we can incorporate Quest Visual's technology into Google Translate's broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future. As a thank you to everybody who supported us on our journey, we've made both the app and the language packs free to download for a limited time while we transition to Google. We're looking forward to continuing our work at Google – stay tuned!" Who else is now going to go out of their way just to translate something in light of this news? You can grab the app here.