Microsoft Translator bringing offline mode to iOS app

Microsoft Translator gets offline AI translations		
	Frederic Lardinois

   	13 hours

As per some reports from the web, the updated version for the Microsoft Translator app will now allow users of Android, iOS and Amazon Fire devices to download the AI-powered translation packs that will be used in translating a user's query even when the user is offline.

Back in 2016, Microsoft actually launched its AI-powered online neural machine translation but since you would need high cloud computing power, it was only available online. "The gap between the neural offline translation and the previous translation quality with our older models is huge", said Menezes - and he wasn't shy to compare the quality of Microsoft's translation services to Google's. Support for Windows devices is also coming at some point, though no ETA was given today.

Microsoft says it previously supported offline AI translations on some Android phones in late 2017 but this feature was limited to phones with a dedicated AI chip. This new local feature will enable developers to quickly and easily add text translation to any Android app.

According to Microsoft, the algorithms that power its AI translation have been optimized to the extent that they're able to run "directly on any modern device's CPU" without requiring an internet connection. They are already available in more than 50 languages for text translation and 10 languages for speech translation.

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Chances are you mostly need a translator app on your phone while you are traveling. Microsoft, however, has squeezed the necessary AI into a mobile app. The updated language packs (which only take up about half the space of the old ones) are now available for Arabic, Chinese-Simplified, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai, with others to follow. Well, there is some good news in store for the Microsoft users.

The online requirement for AI features is warranted but should also be temporary.

Furthermore, the new Translator Local Feature is now available in preview for Android developers. It allowed their users to get offline translation quality that was on par with the quality of online neural translation.

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