Snapit Android app should translate into a big success | Android Apps

Snapit Android app should translate into a big success

Jan 5, 2011

Snapit is an app that has a very cool concept. Unfortunately, it doesn’t yet work well enough to be worthy of a download.

Snapit is a text-recognition scanner and a translator app. The idea is that you snap a photo of a page in a book, a newspaper article, anything with typed text on it, really, and your phone will pick up on what the text reads. It’s designed to detect URLs, phone numbers and addresses for you, and format them to indicate them as such.

It was created with the intention of speeding up the data-entry process, whether for the purpose of conducting a web search, putting information into an email, or a taking a sentence and translating it into your native language.

The problem is, however, that the app is only effective some of the time. And when I say some of the time, I’m being generous. Most of my attempts at getting text onto my device were met with mangled gibberish or the words “no recognized text” popped up. Sometimes, random capital letters would appear in bizarre places, like the middle of the word. This didn’t really affect the app’s ability to perform a search, but being the slightly OCD individual that I am, this bothered me.

I couldn’t really test whether or not the app did a decent job translating text because I couldn’t get any words through without experiencing some kind of gobbledygook-related issue.

I also found that the app was very finicky when it came to fonts, and that it struggled with anything that wasn’t essentially a straight-laced, Times Roman-like, Serif font. Also, forget trying to get down anything hand written, even if it’s in very clear, capped, block letters.

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All that being said, I must say this app was very easy to use. This probably was because there’s not a whole lot to it. There’s a main menu where you take the photos and then crop them to clarify which text you’re looking at. Click on a square icon with an arrow and the letter “A” on it, and you’re taken to another page, where the text is deciphered. Here, you can translate text, conduct a search, or send the text in the form of a message.

One thing I especially like about this app, and I briefly mentioned it above, is the fact that there is a crop tool that’s provided. If you take a photo of a page that has a lot of text on it, you can zoom in on the piece that’s relevant.

Despite the fact that this app didn’t quite accomplish what it set out to do, I think it has great potential. A few trouble-shooting efforts and some updates should make this a top-notch app.

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Caitlin M. Foyt

Caitlin M. Foyt is another young journalist chasing after her dreams. She wishes it was physically possible to document everything she saw, heard, felt or thought -- kind of like a more neurotic Harriet the Spy.

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