Gear and Gadgets

Word Lens Review: Travel App Reviews

Category: Travel
Cost/Platforms: Free to try (for iPhones and camera-enabled iPod Touches), but $10 for translation services.

Overall Rating:travel app rating
Multiplatform:travel app rating
Lots of function for nothing:travel app rating
Fun and easy to use:travel app rating
Solves travel need or challenge:travel app rating

See Spanish signs in English, or vice versa.

Why we like it -- It's one of the coolest ideas to hit the iPhone. Point the device toward a printed phrase, and the screen instantly shows you the translated version. The app requires a little patience. Unless you use the pause button to freeze the translation, the app will "see" different words at different moments, and the screen will scramble. For the biggest, simplest signs, though, the app is helpful. Just keep your expectations modest.

Improvements we'd like to see -- Word Lens would be easier to use if it didn't constantly amend its translations. The translations themselves also need improvement. (It was stumped by the Spanish phrase "cien años," which translates to "100 years.")

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