Pros: Split-screen UI lets people interact easily; Users can look forward to live translated video calls in version 2.0; Servers quickly process translations in the cloud
Cons: Priced higher than competing apps; Oral translations still sound computer like ; ;
Verdict: A translation app with person-to-person interaction in mind, Vocre (pronounced voh-cree) offers fast and painless translations using a clever user interface.
The first screen within the app let us set the two languages we would be using (we picked English and Italian), then gave us options to choose between male and female voices. We tapped the big Start Conversation button, and we were good to go.
The default mode of Vocre is a split screen with each person meant to sit on either end of the phone. We tapped on the big button on our side with the microphone icon, and spoke the phrase we wanted to translate: "Where is the best cafe around here?" A big red Stop button appeared when we were done speaking (you can also simply stop talking to let Vocre automatically start voice recognition). The app quickly processed the uttered words in the cloud, and the English phrase showed up on our side of the split screen.
Tapping on the screen let us correct any voice recognition errors by typing them out. We also had the option to type our phrase completely by tapping on the keyboard icon. Once we were satisfied with the text, we tapped the button with Vocre's icon on the menu at the bottom of the app, which translated our phrase: "Dove è il miglior caffè qui intorno."
Though we appreciated the inclusion of both male and female voices within the app, they still sounded computerlike when speaking our translated phrases aloud.
Expect Vocre to get better over time. The developer recently released a video of Vocre 2.0 (currently in private beta mode), which is set to offer live translated video calls.
Vocre offers fast and painless translations. It has a clever design that lets people interact easily, and the app works well over both 3G and Wi-Fi. Though priced a little higher than competing apps at $2.99, developers are still adding more features.