For Android, a new artificial intelligence powered translation engine now enables you to translate words even when you’re not connected to the Internet, with near online quality. All you have to do is download the language pack that you need before you go. Microsoft Translator isn’t new to artificial intelligence; the cloud service has been using machine learning technology for almost a year to power the Skype Translator, and Bing Translator. But bringing this technology offline is a big breakthrough. The supported languages include Simplified Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese, and English.
For iOS, Microsoft Translator now includes Microsoft’s leading Optical Character Recognition technology, or OCR. This means the app can translate text that's in an image. You can translate text by speaking it, typing it, drawing it with your finger or taking a photo of a sign or menu. In return, you'll receive both an onscreen and audio translation of your text.
The character-recognition feature for iOS is not yet available for Android devices, and the offline feature for Android gadgets is not yet available for iOS. Microsoft announced that this would change soon so that all versions of the app (iOS, Android, Windows and Windows Phone) will eventually have the same features.