Microsoft updates Bing Translator app for Windows 8 to include speech input

Microsoft has updated its Bing Translator app for Windows 8 to include support for speech input, putting the app on par with its Windows Phone 8 counterpart.

Now users can speak directly to their Windows devices and have text translated, with the app playing back the words, phrase and sentences in the selected language, featuring "a native speaker's accent." A blog post announcing the update also notes that camera support now exists for both landscape and portrait mode, allowing users to scan printed text from either orientation.

In addition to the updated Windows app, the Windows Phone app will be updated today with "better quality and responsiveness of translations" as well as an updated interface for selecting downloaded language packs.

Bing's translation capabilities have quickly been expanded over the years, with the service now powering integrated translation on both Twitter and Facebook. In October, Microsoft released a translator app for Office programs, allowing users to instantly translate text in documents. The Bing Translator app for Windows launched in June with support for more than 40 languages.

Download: Bing Translator (Windows Store), Bing Translator (Windows Phone Store) | Image via Microsoft

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What languages does the speech input recognize? I went to the store page but it didn't specify. Maybe they could use this tech with Kinect.

Geezy said,
What languages does the speech input recognize? I went to the store page but it didn't specify. Maybe they could use this tech with Kinect.

It very possibly could be part of Cortana.

I just tried the app and it is absolutely mindblowing. The voice recognition is light years better than what we've had on Windows Phone so far. If this bing-based processing is what Cortana is going to be based on, I think we can expect great things from WP8.1 onwards!

Xabier Granja said,
I just tried the app and it is absolutely mindblowing. The voice recognition is light years better than what we've had on Windows Phone so far. If this bing-based processing is what Cortana is going to be based on, I think we can expect great things from WP8.1 onwards!

The Windows Phone app is getting an update today for improved recognition -- I imagine it'll be equivalent to this.