In less than a month of adding additional six new text-to-speech languages to Translator app for Android, in a major improvement a new artificial intelligence (AI) powered neural machine translation (NMT) capability is added to the Translator app and works regardless of whether the device is connected to net or offline, announced on Wednesday.
With this launch, end-users and third-party app developers can download free offline artificial intelligence-powered translations packs. In addition, Android developers can also now integrate online and offline AI text translations into their apps by making use of the new Translator Local Feature currently in preview.
Although, this AI powered online neural machine translation (NMT) was first released in 2016, followed by a 2017 release to specific Android phones equipped with dedicated AI chip for offline translation that was on par with online neural translation. Now, after two year of work, the new Translator apps bring NMT to the edge of the cloud for all Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire devices.
Support for Windows devices is coming soon, said Microsoft.
Furthermore, these NMT packs offer up to 23 percent higher quality translations than the ones offered by non-neural offline language packs available previously. Microsoft also reports about 50 percent reduction in pack sizes.
A complete list of the languages in which these packs are currently available can be viewed here and the new NMT languages as Microsoft said will be made available on a regular basis.
Local Feature Preview
By leveraging the new local feature for Android developers can quickly add text translation capabilites to any Android app with ease. Also, Android devs can now add NMT offline packs to their apps, so users can get access to NMT translated content without an Internet connection.
When a device is online, translations can also leverage customized translation models that match the app and company’s unique terminology, Microsoft said.
To get started integrating translation, developers need to add some simple code that will use Android’s bound service technology with an AIDL interface to silently call the Translator app. The Translator app will do the rest.
The feature is expected to graduate from preview to general availability within 90 days.
The new AI-powered offline language packs for the Translator apps are available for Android and Amazon Fire. The iOS version which is currently in review process in the App Store will be available by the end of week of April 21.