The Translator 3.0 is Here!

In 2007 I created a small Translator gadget for the Windows Vista sidebar. It was a pretty simple mix of HTML and javascript that would invoke some Babelfish Web page in order to get the translations. A year later I totally rebuild the gadget in order to use the official Google Language API and Microsoft Silverlight 2.0, which would allow me to present a much friendly user experience and add more features without the complexities of staying in a javascript world. I didn’t expect it but the Translator became the most popular gadget in the Spanish version of Windows Live Gallery (you can still get it here).

Today I’m pleased to announce version 3 of the Translator, which finally includes several of the features and fixes that lots of people have been asking for. You can get the new Translator here:

Here a screenshot of the new Translator:


And here some of its features, from the development point of view:

  • It’s build on top of the just released Silverlight 4.0 and deployed as an out of browser application, which removes most of the limitations of running inside the Windows sidebar.
  • It is now appropriately localized for English and Spanish so it will display an Spanish UI if your machine uses the Spanish version of Windows, and English otherwise.
  • It no longer uses Windows Azure for storing the Silverlight xap file and the Translation Web Service. This is not because Azure is not good (it’s actually pretty cool) but because the trial ended and I just don’t have money to pay for it.
  • It can be maximized as much as you like in order to allow you to translate big amounts of texts.
  • It does not require you to have your Internet connection as soon as you login to Windows as it is now installed in your machine and only requires Internet when you fire the Translate button.
  • It will detect when your Internet connection goes down or comes back and give an appropriate friendly error message if no Internet is available.
  • It will allow you to listen to the translated text in English, French, German, Haitian Creole, Italian and Spanish. This uses an unofficial API from Google, but seems to work pretty well. Only small texts supported for text to speech in this version (up to 100 chars aprox).
  • It now includes mouse Copy/Paste functionality (thanks Silverlight 4!).
  • It now works in both Windows 32 bits and 64 bits. The 64 bits scenario was just not possible while running inside the Windows sidebar.
  • It includes a nice auto update model so it will detect when a new version of the Translator is available and prompt you to just restart the app to apply the update.

I really hope this new release will fulfill people’s expectations and be a very useful utility to keep in your desktop. If you got any feedback you’d like to share with me please go ahead and leave me a comment below.

I already have some ideas for the next version, so if you know of something you’d like to see in there just let me know!