We’ve seen language translation apps before, from WordLensthat will translate text using the iPhone’s camera to Google’s own utilitarian Google Translate, but myLanguage’s Vocre offers brings a unique twist to the category. Vocre is meant to be an on-the-fly translator so you can hold a conversation with someone who speaks a different language.
Does it work? Well, it’s no Babel fish but it does work relatively well. It’s not 100% accurate and idiomatic expressions stump it, which is not surprising, but it beats playing an embarrassing game of charades when trying to find a restroom in a foreign land. The interface is not entirely intuitive, requiring you to change the orientation of your iPhone to record a message, see the translation and play the translation in the selected languages (this iPhone flipping isn’t as clearcut as it looks in the demo video).
Right now, Vocre doesn’t include all of the features hinted at in the demo video and even the app’s icon, like on-the-fly translations during phone calls or a fluid cut-and-paste system for text messages.
Vocre is free to download and includes some translations for free. If you need more, you’ll need to buy them via in-app purchase at $.99 for 20 translations. A counter in the top right shows you the number of translations you have left. If you don’t want to pay for translations à la carte, check out Trippo VoiceMagix instead (and our review here), which has similar functionality.