App of the Week – Word Lens


I would like to introduce you to one of the most amazing apps I’ve seen in a long time. Word Lens is a language translator – but not just any language translator. With the help of the built in camera on your iPhone or Android smart phone, Word Lens actually translates foreign language in real time!

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

It’s super simple – Just point your phone at a sign or a menu, choose the language you want to translate it into, and watch the words transform before your very eyes! The app seems to have trouble with handwriting or stylized fonts, but most clearly printed text is translatable.  The great part is you don’t need a WiFi connection for it to work, so – as long as your phone has battery power – this app will work anywhere.

This app can be useful in so many different situations, travelling being the obvious one, but how about when you’re trying to assemble that swing set you bought online and the directions are all in Russian? Hurrah for Word Lens! And, yes, Russian is available. Translations are also currently available in Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese.

Originally developed and owned by Quest Visual, Word Lens was recently purchased by Google and has been made available as a free app to Apple and Android customers for an undisclosed length of time. So, pull out your smart phone, or iPad and download Word Lens now while it’s still free!