Word Lens tops our best apps of the week, translating foreign signs into your native language as you travel. London 2012 Results App also made a splash this week, delivering updates from the Olympics so you can follow the many sports featured in the summer games. On the social side, Twitter’s update brought much overdue features to the Android app, while sports enthusiasts can stay on top of Big Ten games with BTN2Go.
Word Lens ($4.99)
See the world in your language. That’s the mantra that represents what the Word Lens app is all about as it instantly translates printed words from one language to another. Using your smartphone camera, just point your Android at the printed material you need translated and the worlds will automatically appear in real time. You can also look up translations by typing in a word, or clicking on a word. The app was designed for travelers that need to translate street signs, menus and other text. Supported languages include English converted to Spanish, French and Italian. The full app comes with just one language pack, though additional languages can be purchased in-app. A lite version is available to try before you buy.
Twitter update (free)
The newly updated Twitter for Android app works more like the desktop version. That means expanded tweets to show the media being linked to, improved search and better push notifications. Event support has also been added to incorporate a bit of ambient context to your Twitter experience. One of the notable updates is the beefed-up push notifications you can tie to specific accounts, such as your local news feed or any other source you want to monitor closely. But the most popular update is likely the expanded tweets, which lets you watch videos, read article summaries and essentially enjoy rich media directly in the tweet instead of having to click through to see if a shared link is worth your time.
London 2012 Results App (free)
Stay on top of the Summer Olympics with the official London 2012 Results App. You’ll get the latest news, schedules and scores from the event, keeping you up to date with the latest action happening live in London. There’s a calendar schedule, sports details, medal tables and athlete profiles included in London 2012 Results, along with the ability to follow your countries of choice. The app covers all events for the 36 sports of the Olympics and the 21 sports of the Paralympics. If you aren’t able to watch the games or simply want to stay abreast of developments throughout the day, this app is very helpful for fans.
Whether you’re a Big Ten alum or just a fan, the new BTN2Go app is one to check out. Launched by the Big Ten Network (BTN), the official Android app has hit Google Play with an optimized tablet version to boot. You can watch programming from BTN, including live game telecasts and on-demand access to their video archives. There’s also original programming like The Journey and Big Ten Icons, making for a worthwhile mobile experience.
Gaining notoriety after a $100 million investment round from Andreessen Horowitz, GitHub has become a popular resource for software programmers and developers. The online community, known for its ability to let developers share code and track discussions, has gone mobile. Stay up-to-date with integrated news feeds for organizations, friends and repositories. And of course, GitHub is a great place to discover, share and comment on code snippets.
A social network for nomads, CouchSurfing has become quite a popular service in the past year or so. It connects you to a global community of travelers to help you find a couch to crash on during your journey, saving money and time. More than just finding a place to lay your weary head, CouchSurfing has proven a useful network for discovering new friends, sharing meals and events along the way. The new Android app lets you search for people kind enough to offer up a spare bed, and respond to requests you’ve put out. Check profiles before deciding on a couch, and enhance your overall travel experience.