Translator is now a Universal App

Just about a week ago it seemed like the most popular of my apps was my Desktop Translator, which was a Silverlight Out Of Browser (OOB) app. However, since Silverlight does not seem to play very well with Edge, the default browser in Windows 10, people was struggling with installing the app. At that point I also had a Translator for Windows 8 and a Translator for Windows Phone 8. So, it seemed like a good opportunity to try out the Windows Universal platform and make my life easier along the way.

And here is the result:

Get it now for Windows 10 here (and probably with the same link for Windows Phone 10 when it becomes available).

I didn’t quite have time to add new features to this universal version of the Translator. However I did add the capability for translating the text as you type it. I thought that could be handy.

Besides the fact that all the app source code now lives in a single place (which is already cool) I like the fact that I can keep offering a Windows 8 only version and a Windows Phone 8.1 only version under the same umbrella in the Store:

Keeping the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 versions alive is important for people that has not made the move to Windows 10 yet. This because universal apps won’t work on anything before Windows 10. And nicely the Store is very kind of offering me appropriate links for people on each platform:

And interestingly, the Windows 8.1 URL would work even for Windows 10 people, which is great!

It has been a long way for this little app since releasing it as a gadget for the Windows Vista sidebar. Who knows what will come next!

Translator 2.0 for Windows Phone 8 Now Available

The Windows Phone 8 SDK was publicly available last month so I thought the Translator for Windows Phone could take advantage of some of its new features. The upgrade process took me a few days, mostly because of not been able to work on it for more than an hour or two on each session, but I’m glad to announce it’s finally ready and available for download!

Get the Translator 2.0 here.

Besides all the great new stuff that all Windows Phone 8 apps get for free, these are the two new features that really make a difference for the Translator:

1. Speech Recognition: You can now use the new Speak button to say a word or phrase to the app. It will recognize your spoken text and immediately translate it to the currently selected target language. Cool feature and actually ridiculously easy to implement thanks to the new Speech APIs.


2. Better language support: Many people complained in the past about the Translator not been able to display text in a few languages, been Hindi among the most requested. This was sad because the Translator was actually able to translate the text to those languages but could just not display it in the Windows Phone 7 platform. Gladly, and without having to add a single line of code, the Translator can now display text in Hindi and 20+ new languages!



I hope this helps and please keep sending feedback either from the app itself or via this blog. I’ll do my best to keep improving the app to make it as useful and easy to use as possible.


Language Translator for Windows 8 Now Available!

Been working on porting my Translator to a Windows Store app and it is finally published!

Go get it here.


Most features available in the Windows Phone and Desktop versions of the Translator are also available in this new version. However there is one new feature, available only thanks to Windows 8, that was my main driver to create this new port. This new feature allows you to send text for automatic translation directly from any other Windows Store app that supports sharing.

To send text for automatic translation from any Windows Store app that supports sharing:

1. Select some text in the Windows Store app, open the Windows 8 charm bar and tap on the Share charm.



2. On the Share charm tap on Language Translator.



3. The Language Translator will slide from your right, will auto detect the language of the text you shared and will immediately provide you a translated version in your language of choice.



If you find yourself using the Language Translation very frequently, you can take advantage of Windows 8 snapped view to snap the Language Translator to any side of your screen. It will resize properly and stay there for quick access for as long as you need it.



I hope you enjoy using it as much as I enjoyed working on it. Please send me any feedback you might have on the Language Translator and, if you like it, would appreciate if you can rate it in the store.



Translator no longer supports Google translation engine

So sad, but I had to completelly remove the Translator’s support for the Google translation engine because of the following reasons:

  1. Google Translate API is now a paid service only, which means that both the Translator Desktop and the Translator for Windows Phone should require some sort of payment from end users. This could be via a direct purchase or via ads.
  2. As of November 2011 I no longer live in Mexico, but in the United States, and the visa that I received does not allow me to receive any payments from anybody different from the employer that sponsored my visa. So even if I keep selling the Translator for Windows Phone 7, I am not allowed to actually receive the money from the payments.

Those two combined reasons make it impossible for me to receive any payment from Translator’s users and justify the cost of adding support for the Google translation engine. So, for now bot the Translator Desktop and the Translator for Windows Phone 7 have been updated to only support the Microsoft Translator engine, which still offers a free option.

I am so sorry for this. However I can ensure that I will keep updating and supporting both translators to make sure they keep meeting all your expectations.


Windows Phone 7 Translator 1.6 Now Available!

I am so happy to announce that the new version of the Windows Phone 7 Translator is now available on the marketplace! I’ve been working hard on this one for the last couple of months so it’s great to finally see it published.

Follow this link to download it:

Focus on this major update is in the introduction of several productivity features, full support for Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) and bug fixes. Let me introduce the new features in this quick overview.

Translate Button Removed

Some screen space was saved by removing the Translate button. The translation is now triggered by using the Enter key, in the same way that you would navigate to a page by hitting Enter after typing a URL in Internet Explorer.

WP7_Translator Translate With Enter

Bigger Translated Text

This has been requested for a while. You will now see big letters for your translations, which is quite useful for easy reading.

Bigger translated text

Copy the Translated Text

Also been requested for a while. The NoDo update added Copy/Paste support, but such support doesn’t work for TextBlocks, which is what the Translator was using for the translated text. I replaced the TextBlock with a styled TextBox and now you can not only copy the translated text but also do it with a single click.

Windows Phone 7 Translator Copy/Paste

Full-Screen Mode

This is very useful for sharing your translation with someone else. To go full-screen you can click the new Full-Screen button in the icon bar or you can just move your phone to a landscape position after translating your text.

Windows Phone 7 Translator Full-Screen Mode

Translation History

Sometimes you find yourself translating the same texts once and again and again. To avoid asking for these recurrent translations you can use the new translation history feature. The Translator will automatically store your last 1000 translations for easy access and you can access them right from the main screen. To see the translation history just clear the input textbox by clicking the Clear Text button in the icon bar. The translation history will even remember the translation engine you used when performing the translation.

Windows Phone 7 Translation History

Optimized for Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango)

I got quite impressed when I read about the huge list of new features introduced by the Mango update. But the one feature that really impacted the Translator was Fast Application Switching (FAS). Turns to be that a new ‘Dormant’ state has been introduced to Mango applications which will allow your app to remain in memory without been tombstoned. Without an appropriate handling of this new state your app will not take any advantage of FAS and might waste some precious performance savings.

The Translator is not only now fully supporting FAS but I also completely reviewed the application lifecycle, which was less than ideal and rewrote it to make sure all possible state transitions are handled appropriately.

Other features

I also worked on some other minor stuff:

  • Introduced the appropriate branding for both Microsoft and Google translation engines.
  • Added a ‘Write a Review’ menu option that I hope encourages customers to share their experiences when using the Translator.
  • Fixed many reported and hidden bugs.

Have fun!

So that’s it! I really hope you all enjoy this update. And, as always, please contact me for any questions, issues and stuff you’d like to see in new versions. And have fun!