Why Google Translate for iPhone?


When Google introduced its new version of Google Translate app for the iPhone, a few commenters were surprised and annoyed.

"Why are you going to support iPhone? Apple also does not support Google. Please.. stop that," wrote AndroidChomeOS on the Google Mobile Blog.

"The fact that it’s developing apps for its rival's app store is interesting given its very public position that the Web is a superior experience to app stores," wrote the Wall Street Journal Digits blog.

So why is Google serving its rival with sweet free apps? Perhaps because it still wants to stay relevant in the mobile market. Or probably more likely, Google sees that its free apps and goodies keep users, even ones using the Apple iOS, still coming to its search engine and tools. Those eyeballs mean higher online ad revenue and continued market dominance.

However, Google did manage to serve its Android constituents first. Google Translate was released on the Android platform last month. The iPhone app is similar:

The new app accepts voice input for 15 languages, and—just like the web app—you can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages. For voice input, just press the microphone icon next to the text box and say what you want to translate. . .  .You can also listen to your translations spoken out loud in one of 23 different languages.

But Google did hold something back from the iOS, its experimental conversation mode. The beta mode allows people to attempt to converse with each other with a handheld as translator -- but for now it's only available in English and Spanish. 

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