Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Languages encapsulates one of the main ideals behind some of the best iOS apps: it takes a simple yet useful concept then turns it into something rather attractive.
At its core, Languages is a translation app. Supplying the means in which to look up Spanish, English, German, Italian, French, Dutch, Portuguese and Swedish words, it's an ideal compendium for anyone travelling around Europe. Even better, it's cheap at $0.99.
The interface is clear and appropriate for iOS, evidently taking a page out of iBook's virtual design book. A bookcase displays the options available with a tap on a title opening up a dictionary of words. Initially, Spanish to English and German to English are available, with others downloadable for free. At 16mb per dictionary, it's quite reasonably sized also and ideal for those wanting to avoid data charges by downloading ahead of time.
The books themselves are quite comprehensive. Users can scroll through each entry manually, tap a letter of the alphabet to jump ahead or they can search for a specific word themselves. In all cases, it's possible to look from either language's perspective, keeping mostly everyone happy. Each entry comes with a brief yet knowledgeable definition.
Visual flourishes such as a swipe to the left "scrunching" the book up to move to a search section are a neat touch, along with being able to select any word to either jump to in the opposing dictionary or to copy to the iOS device's clipboard. It's simply done but precisely what's needed.
I'd have appreciated some sharing options such as to Facebook or Twitter but I can see how the main reason behind Languages is to provide a useful language guide for those travelling around. Keeping it simple works well here and it's certainly a breeze to explore. Sometimes, less really is more, a concept that the makers of Languages have certainly embraced.