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Road Trip, Part 4

Road Trip, Part 4
by Gary Woods

When you're in a place where a language is spoken that you don't speak then Google Translate is a good place to start. This free app has been around for a while but it just keeps getting better. It can translate typed or handwritten words as well as spoken language and its speech recognition is particularly fast and accurate. The app also has a dictionary for looking up single words and phrases and it allows you to save specific translations for offline access. Google Translate supports 80 languages including Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese.

If you're primarily attempting to read something in a different language then Word Lens is another cool free app. It will translate printed words and superimposes the translation onto the image. This means that if you're trying to read a street sign in German it shows up as English on your iPhone screen.

When you're traveling trying to manage your money can be difficult when you're using a currency you don't know. Currency-Simple Converter a $0.99 app handles more than 160 types of currencies and features offline access.

Then, when you have to talk to the folks back home and you don't want to pay those outrageous long distance phone rates take along Skype. With it you can make free or cheap voice and video calls. We've used this great service to communicate with clients in London and Brazil and it has definitely saved us a ton of dough.

Next week, what to do with all those pictures you're taking!

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and he is a Broker/Associate at Sotheby's International Realty.