If Abbyy’s upcoming new Textgrabber+Translator app came in a tin, then the app would do exactly what it said on that tin. And the tin—to stretch the metaphor—would be a beautiful, iOS 7-styled container.
The updated app, which now comes in an iPad-shaped tin to match the iPhone-shaped one, uses the iPad/iPhone’s camera to scan text, turn it into actual editable text and—if you like—translate it into any of 40 languages.
The app is very similar to the also-gorgeous Pixter, but has a few extra features. The first of these is the translator, which makes visits to foreign countries or foreign restaurants a whole lot easier.
Even better for everyday use is the OCR itself. First, it works offline in any of 60 languages. Then, it looks to format the text properly. Usually OCR on iDevices just scrams the words together into one ugly paragraph. T&T not only manages to keep things in their original format, it even works with bulleted and numbered lists.
It’s not just for scanning texts or doing translations, either. You can also use the voiceover support and large type to read paper magazines out loud, or zoom in on small printed texts.
All this and a slick new look, too. The update, coming in the next few days, will be free for existing users of the $6 app. I can’t wait. In fact, I really can’t wait: I’m grabbing the current v3 right now as it has many of these features in an old-timey iOS 6-style UI, and works great on the iPhone. It’s going to be great for avoiding embarrassing mishaps like the one I had yesterday, when I accidentally asked the German waitress here in Leipzig for sexual intercourse instead of a sausage. Or maybe it was the other way around…?