Features & Use
Test device: Motorola Defy Mini
Android version: 2.3.6
(Is that a joke, you ask? Sadly, no.)
The Talking Translator /Dictionary landing screen is kept nice and straight-forward, but still it provides direct access to all of the most relevant features. Two text fields can be used for language input, be it single words or entire sentences. Alternatively you can also set the app to start up with the input feature straight away. There are of course options for selecting your source and target languages, as well as a button to switch target and source language so that you can translate an entire conversation, for example.
There's an audio feature should you wish to hear how words are pronounced.
Translations require internet connection which may be a drawback if you're abroad and don't have a data flatrate. That said, having so many dictionaries and text to speech algorithms saved internally would present a technical conundrum. It is therefor advisable to ensure you can use a prepaid SIM with data when you're abroad, especially considering that many apps require internet access (think: Google Maps).
A great feature: the app will read and translate incoming SMS for you. It would be great to see a similar feature available for incoming emails.
Another feature I really enjoy is the Word of the Day. Select a language at the top right and then check the translation. This is a quick and easy way to improve your language skills. This feature can also be access via widget on the homescreen.
The actual quality of the translations is on the same level as Google Translate, meaning you shouldn't expect too much but it will usually allow you to understand the gist of things. More commonly used languages yield better results than less popular languages.
While I would never resort to a translation app to actually produce precise translations, they're very useful to getting a general picture of what's being communicated in a foreign language. Talking Translator /Dictionary has been downloaded over five million times and I can only say that I agree with the high praise it's been getting in the Play Store.
Screen & Controls
Using Talking Translator /Dictionary is quite simple and straight-forward. All major functions aside from SMS are found on the landing screen.
The design is simplistic but good overall, save for the menu button which is buried beneath the Android menu button.
Speed & Stability
Talking Translator /Dictionary runs very smoothly. Translations are accessed online but even so the delay of audio output is minimal.
Talking Translator /Dictionary is free and ad-sponsored. You can get rid of the ads by purchasing the app for EUR 2.49.
The free version doesn't come with the Word of the Day function and has a 50 SMS limit.