The new Google Translate is ready for the iPhone and iPad, and it’s a fantastic update. While other apps are better at giving you context and points of grammar, Google’s app is hard to beat for fast translations of single words or phrases.
And now it adds a third way to input words: handwriting.
The look is a lot cleaner and iOS7-friendly, with big blue blocks making up the interface. You can enter words and phrases by tying them, tapping the microphone and speaking them, or tapping the squiggle and then writing the word on screen with your finger.
This last words really well, even when I use my vestigial cursive joined-up writing to do it. However you enter the search term, the result is added to the top of a scrolling list in the lower part of the screen letting you easily refer back to recent queries. If you need to keep a result for longer, you can star it and then access it in the favorites section.
This is going right on my iPhone. It’s useful on the iPad too, especially when you’re writing with a finger, but as my iPhone is always concerted and always accessible, that’s the ideal spot for the Universal app.
As ever for Google apps, this is free.