How to See Which Apps Are Accessing Your Camera or Microphone on iPhone

Some iPhone apps require camera/microphone access to function properly, and some do not. Apple has introduced new app privacy settings with iOS 14 and higher, which allow you to see what apps have camera/microphone access. This way, you can change camera/microphone settings for any app, all in the same place, so apps that do not need to see or hear you, can not.

Some iPhone apps require camera/microphone access to function properly, and some do not. Apple has introduced new app privacy settings with iOS 14 and higher, which allow you to see what apps have camera/microphone access. This way, you can change camera/microphone settings for any app, all in the same place, so apps that do not need to see or hear you, can not.

Let’s explore how to allow camera/microphone access on your iPhone or turn it off.

This is for iPhone running iOS 14+

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First, open Settings (the gear icon) on your iPhone. Refer to below image:

Camera 1
Accessing Settings

Next, scroll down and tap the Privacy option. See below image:

Camera 2
Accessing Privacy option

Now, scroll down and tap the Camera or Microphone option. See following image:

Camera 3
Accessing Microphone or Camera option

Here, you will see a list of apps that have asked you for camera or microphone access in the past. Apps that currently have access to your iPhone camera/microphone will have the switch turned On. Apps that do not have access will have its switch turned Off. Refer to below image:

Camera 4
List of apps with Facebook and Gmail turned On

If you.would like to remove iPhone camera/microphone access from an app, tap its switch to turn it off Off. Likewise, you can also grant camera/microphone access to a listed app by turning the switch On. See below image:

Camera 5
Facebook app is turned Off

Now, exit Settings.

If you want to know if your camera/microphone is in use, look in the upper-right corner of your screen at the status bar. If you see a green dot there, then an app is using the camera. If there’s an orange dot, that means your microphone is in use. The color scheme depends on your display mode. See following image for microphone in use as a blue dot:

Camera 6
Colored coded dots to indicate if Microphone or Camera is in use

If an app is using your camera/microphone when you do not expect it to, revisit the above steps and flip its switch to Off.

You are finished setting your access to camera or microphone. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

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How to Stop Apps From Asking to Track You

If you are like me, you are not too keen on being tracked. So when an app asks you if it can track your iPhone activity across other programs and websites for ads, the answer is pretty much always “NO”. If you are tired of choosing Ask App Not to Track over and over again, there is a way to stop apps from even being able to ask in the first place.

If you are like me, you are not too keen on being tracked. So when an app asks you if it can track your iPhone activity across other programs and websites for ads, the answer is pretty much always “NO”. If you are tired of choosing Ask App Not to Track over and over again, there is a way to stop apps from even being able to ask in the first place.

While the setting was available in earlier versions of iOS 14, it was not useful because developers were not required to ask for tracking permission until iOS 14.4. So if you are not running iOS 14.4 or later, you may see the setting, but you will not get any tracking requests from apps.

With one system-wide setting disabled, most of the apps on your iPhone will not be able to (or are not supposed to) track your activity across other apps and websites.

But, permission is not a hard and fast rule. According to Apple, some apps might try to track you without getting the “OK” from you first.

With that in mind, let us explore this “not asking” feature.

This is for iPhone and iPad running iOS or iPadOS 14.4+

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First, open Settings (the gear icon) on your iPhone or iPad. Refer to below image:

Contact 1
Accessing Settings

Next, scroll down to the Privacy option and tap it. See below image:

Contact 2
Accessing Privacy option

Now, tap Tracking near the top of your screen. See following image:

Contact 3
Accessing Tracking option

Next, tap the toggle beside Allow Apps to Request to Track to turn it off (to the left position). Refer to below image:

Contact 4
Disabling Request to Track option

Now, exit Settings. From now on, apps will no longer pop-up requests asking to track you. This means that you are telling all apps not to profile you for targeted advertising; unless you have previously given them permission to do so.

To change which apps can track you for targeted advertising individually, follow the above steps and turn off the toggles beside any app listed there. It is important to note that even with this option disabled, you can still be tracked while using the web on your iPhone or iPad.

That’s it. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

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How to Turn Off Eye Contact in FaceTime on iPhone in iOS 14

FaceTime Eye Contact feature, which Apple released with iOS 14 and higher. makes it appear like you are looking right at the camera, even when you are actually looking at your friend on the screen. If you find this artificial trick a bit creepy, rest assured you can turn it off at any time. This feature tells me that Apple engineers have too much time on their hands; it is a weird feature.

FaceTime Eye Contact feature, which Apple released with iOS 14 and higher. makes it appear like you are looking right at the camera, even when you are actually looking at your friend on the screen. If you find this artificial trick a bit creepy, rest assured you can turn it off at any time. This feature tells me that Apple engineers have too much time on their hands; it is a weird feature.

In typical video chat scenarios, you want to look at your friend while you talk to them. When you do, you are obviously not looking at the camera. So from your friend’s perspective, you look like you are looking slightly below eye level. The new feature aims to fix that issue by using software to “move” your eyes into an eye contact position. It works really well; perhaps a little too well.

Aside from creating the “fake” feeling of authentic eye contact during a video conversation, FaceTime’s new feature can also make the other caller feel like you are staring into the abyss of your camera and not at them. We have gotten so used to where the eyes actually are in video calls that when they are pointed right at us all of the time, it looks intimidating and unnatural; like you are not really paying attention; and that’s not necessarily how a regular talk goes.

The somewhat spooky Eye Contact feature for FaceTime, is only available for iPhone XS and above. Ironically, this feature is turned On by default. Let’s explore how to turn this feature Off.

This is for the iPhone running iOS 14

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First, open Settings (the gear icon) on your iPhone. Refer to below image:

eyes 1
Accessing Settings

Next, in Settings, scroll down and tap FaceTime. See below image:

eyes 2
Accessing FaceTime option

Now. In FaceTime settings, scroll down and toggle the switch beside Eye Contact to turn it Off. See below image:

eyes 3
Accessing Eye Contact toggle

This disables the fake and creepy “natural eye contact” feature. Refer to below image:

eyes 4
Disabling Eye Contact toggle

Now, exit the Settings app. The next time you use FaceTime, your pupils will be exactly where you would expect them to be. Reality wins over this creepy feature.

That was easy. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter, as mentioned below.

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How to Control Exposure in Camera App on iPhone in iOS 14

The iPhone’s user-friendly Camera app makes it possible for anyone to take great photos. But the app does not get it right every time, and sometimes you might want to brighten or darken your scene.

The iPhone’s user-friendly Camera app makes it possible for anyone to take great photos. But the app does not get it right every time, and sometimes you might want to brighten or darken your scene.

To do that, you will need to use the Exposure Compensation dial. Apple added it in the iOS 14 update released in September 2020. This built-in feature works on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and newer iPhones. On older iPhones, you will have to use a third-party camera app.

This is for the iPhone running iOS 14

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Exposure Compensation Dial

To enable the Exposure Compensation dial, launch the Camera app, and tap on the arrow at the top of the viewfinder in portrait orientation.

A row of icons will appear just above the shutter button. The Exposure Compensation slider is the plus/minus (+/-) icon. Tap on it and a new slider will appear along the bottom of the frame.

You can now move the slider left and right to decrease or increase the amount of light in your scene.

If you tap on the plus/minus (+/-) again, you will get back to the main row of icons. You can close the menu using the arrow at the top of the viewfinder. Keep in mind that, if you set an exposure compensation value, it will persist until the next time you open the camera app; even if you close this menu.

The Exposure Compensation feature added in iOS 14 is not full manual control, but fine-tuning of a scene. As you move around the Camera app will continue to adapt to lighting conditions unless you manually lock exposure and focus. It is an effective way to get more control over the image without having to go fully manual.

If you do not have an iPhone 11 or newer, you will not see this option as it is not available on older devices.

Third Party Apps

If you own an iPhone XS, XR, or earlier, you will not be able to access the Exposure Compensation dial. You’ll have to make do with the old method of doing things, which means locking focus and exposure to a single point and then making micro-adjustments inside the yellow box.

If you have an older device and want to set exposure and focus separately in a more intuitive way, try VSCOManual, or Camera+ 2. My favorite is the latter, Camera+2.

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How to Enable Full Screen Incoming Calls on iPhone or iPad in iOS or iPadOS 14

In iOS and iPad OS 14, Apple introduced persistent call banners instead of full-screen notifications. This means that when your device is unlocked, regular, FaceTime, and third-party VoIP incoming call banners take only a small space at the top.

In iOS and iPad OS 14, Apple introduced persistent call banners instead of full-screen notifications. This means that when your device is unlocked, regular, FaceTime, and third-party VoIP incoming call banners take only a small space at the top.

Call 1
Incoming Call banner mode

This compact UI feature is turned on by default. While you can swipe down on a banner to quickly expand the incoming call to the full-screen mode, it is not a permanent solution.

However, if you want a big contact picture in incoming calls, or do not like the new style, or it’s too easy to miss and you prefer the old way, here is how to activate this feature in iOS and iPadOS 14.

This is for iPhone or iPad running iOS or iPadOS 14

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Open the Settings app (the gear icon). Refer to below image:

Call 2
Accessing Settings

Next, scroll down to the Phone section. See below image:

Call 3
Accessing the Phone option

Now, choose Incoming Calls option. See following image:

Call 4
Accessing Incoming Calls option

Next, checkmark the Full Screen option. Refer to below image:

Call 5
Selecting Full Screen for incoming calls

The next time you receive a phone call (a cellular or a VoIP call), you will see a full-screen incoming call notification. See below image:

Call 6
Incoming Calls full screen mode

That’s it. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

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How to Use Sound Recognition on iPhone in iOS 14

Sound Recognition, first introduced in iOS 14, lets iPhone users with hearing loss receive visual alerts when the iPhone detects certain sounds like smoke alarms, sirens, door knocks, or dogs barking.

Sound Recognition, first introduced in iOS 14, lets iPhone users with hearing loss receive visual alerts when the iPhone detects certain sounds like smoke alarms, sirens, door knocks, or dogs barking. It does this with onboard intelligence, so no network connection is required. Let’s explore how to setup and use this feature.

This is for the iPhone running iOS 14+

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Setup Sound Recognition

First, launch Settings (the gear icon). Refer to below image:

Sound 1
Accessing Settings

in Settings, scroll down and tap Accessibility. See below image:

Sound 2
Accessing Accessibility

In Accessibility, navigate to the Hearing section. Now, tap Sound Recognition. See following image:

Sound 3
Accessing Sound Recognition

Enabling Sounds

In Sound Recognition settings, tap the switch beside Sound Recognition to turn it on. Next, tap Sounds below that to choose which sounds to recognize. Refer to below image:

Sound 4
Enabling Sound Recognition

Siri is Disabled

Once you enable a Sound, a message will be displayed about Siri being disabled if you Turn On Sound Recognition, or you may Cancel. See below image:

Sound 5
Hey Siri message if a Sound is enabled

Now, you will see a list of switches that correspond to types of sound your iPhone can recognize, such as sirens and water running. As of iOS 14, here’s the full list:

  • Fire Alarm
  • Siren
  • Smoke Alarm
  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Appliances
  • Car Horn
  • Door Bell
  • Door Knock
  • Water Running
  • Baby Crying

Tap the switch beside each sound that you would like for your iPhone to recognize. You can enable any combination of them, or all of them. See following image where I enabled Fire, Smoke, and Dog:

Sound 6
Enabling Sounds

Now, to save your selection(s), press the Back link in upper left-hand corner, then exit Settings.

The Notifications

If you wouldd like to test the Sound Recognition feature, try searching for sounds like “Smoke Alarm” or “Dog Barking” on YouTube. When triggered, Sound Recognition will place an alert notification at the top of your screen. Later, you can see a list of these alerts in your iPhone’s Notification Center. Refer to below image:

Sound 7
Sound Recognition notifications

If you wish to activate other sounds or disable them, navigate back to the Sounds in the Sound Recognition screen. Also, you could create a shortcut in the Control Center to activate/deactivate the Sounds.

A Viewpoint

I usually don’t comment on what Apple engineers intended to do or how a feature is to work. This feature does work as advertised. But, if my house was on fire and the alarm goes off, I want my iPhone to blast our a fire alarm sound. What good is a notification alert; yikes, my house is burning! I don’t have time to grab my iPhone and launch the Notification Center. To me, this is a flaw.

While sleeping, I would like for my iPhone to blast out the sound of a fire or smoke alarm and call 911. Other sounds you might wnat to hear through your iPhone is Baby Crying and Water Running. For these reasons, this is a poorly designed feature.

At the same time,I realize that Apple wants no liability claims for missing sounds, like smoke or fire. They chose not to use the iPhone as an alarm in Sound Recognition.

That’s it. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

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How to Use the Magnifier Feature on iPhone or iPad in iOS 14

Your device can serve as a magnifier so you can better view the world around you. The built-in Magnifier tool uses the camera to zoom in like a magnifying glass. You can use the Magnifier to better see faraway objects or enlarge items that are closer to you, like text in a book or on a computer screen.

Your device can serve as a magnifier so you can better view the world around you. The built-in Magnifier tool uses the camera to zoom in like a magnifying glass. You can use the Magnifier to better see faraway objects or enlarge items that are closer to you, like text in a book or on a computer screen. Lets explorehow to use the Magnifier.

This is for the iPhone or iPad running iOS 14+

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Setup Magnifier

To enable the feature, go to

Settings > Accessibility > Magnifier

and toggle On the switch for Magnifier. Refer to below image:

Magnify 1
Accessing the Magnifier

The Magnifier then appears on your Home Screen as an app. To launch the tool, just tap its icon. In my example, my first available Home Screen area is at the bottom right of the 6th page. See below image:

Magnify 2
Accessing the Magnifier app

The Magnifier Toolbar

Notice that the objects within the view of your camera are magnified in the viewfinder. Using the Magnifier panel at the bottom of your screen, drag the slider or pinch your fingers in and out to zoom in and out of the object. You can move the Magnifier panel around the screen by dragging any empty area of it with your finger. See following image:

Magnify 3
The Magnifier Toolbar

The Brightness Option

Tap the icon for Brightness and then drag the slider to increase or decrease the brightness. Tap the icon again to turn off the Brightness slider. Refer to below image:

Magnify 4
The Brighness option

The Filter Option

Tap the Filter icon to choose between different filters and find one that improves the clarity of the object. Tap the icon again to turn off the Filter gallery. Tap the Flashlight icon to turn on your device’s flashlight and throw more light onto the object. See below image:

Magnify 5
The Filter option

The Capture and View Options

To capture an image of the object you are viewing, press the Shutter button. You can then view any images you capture by tapping the View button. Swipe through the thumbnails of your captured images at the bottom left-hand corner and tap a specific picture to view it. See following image:

Magnify 6
Selecting a snapshot to view

The Share Option

From here, you can also tap the Share icon to share an image with someone else via an app or service. Refer to below image:

Magnify 7
Sharing your snapshot via Social Media

Close the Magnifier

Tap the End link at the upper left-hand corner to return to the Magnifier screen. See following image:

Magnify 8
Close the Magnifier

That’s it. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

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How to Use the Zoom Feature on iPhone or iPad in iOS 14

Zoom is an accessibility feature that makes everything on your iPhone or iPad’s screen bigger and much easier to read.

Zoom is an accessibility feature that makes everything on your iPhone or iPad’s screen bigger and much easier to read.

It defaults to 5x magnification but can be set from 1x to 15x, depending on your preference and needs. You can pair it with Voice Over for further assistance to those with visual impairments.

Let us explore how to setup and use this feature.

This is for iPhone or iPad running iOS 14+

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Setup Zoom Settings

To enable the feature, go to

 Settings > Accessibility > Zoom

and toggle On the switch for Zoom. Refer to below image:

Zoom 1
Accessing the Zoom feature

A small window pops up that zooms in on the portion of the screen on which the window is resting. You can move the Zoom window by dragging the small bar that appears in the middle bottom of the window. You can also swipe up and down on the screen to change which section is zoomed in. (Note! We are unable to capture the screen while in Zoom.)

Turning on the Follow Focus button moves the Zoom window to the text you are typing and will follow along as you type. Turning on Smart Typing moves the Zoom window when a keyboard pops up so that the text is zoomed in but the keyboard is not. See below image:

Zoom 2
Two Zoom options

More Zoom Settings

On the Zoom settings, you can toggle Keyboard Shortcuts, Zoom Controller, Zoom Region, and Zoom Filter. Each switch has an associated menu of features to choose. At the bottom of the Zoom settings, you may adjust the Maximum Zoom Level (the default is 5x). See following image:

Zoom 3
More Zoom options

The Keyboard Shortcuts is a list of shortcuts to use on your keyboard for various Zoom features. Refer to below image:

Zoom 4
Zoom Keyboard Shortcuts

Setup Zoom Controller

Show Controller displays a round on-screen controller that you can use to move the Zoom window around the screen. Tap the controller to display a menu with options to zoom in/out, choose the region, resize the lens, choose a filter, or hide/show the controller. See below image:

Zoom 5
Zoom Controller options

You can zoom in or out with the first menu option. Choosing Region lets you choose a Full Screen Zoom or a Window Zoom.

Full-Screen Zoom makes the Zoom window disappear, while the entire screen is zoomed in instead. With Window Zoom, you use the Zoom window to zoom in on a small section of the screen as you move it around. See followimg image:

Zoiom 6
Zoom window options

Resize Lens feature allows you to resize the Zoom area you are viewing by grabbing and dragging on its handles. Refer to below image:

Zoom 7
Resize Lens option

The option to Choose Filter applies a specific color filter to the Zoom window in an attempt to make the text easier to read. See below image:

Zoom 8
Zoom filter options

iPhone/iPad Tapping Shortcuts

Once you have Zoom enabled, you can use it on the fly. Here’s how to use it:

  • Double-tap with three fingers anywhere on the screen to enable and disable zoom. You can do this from pretty much anywhere.
  • Drag three fingers around the screen to pan around and move to another area of the screen.
  • Use one or two fingers to scroll in the particular section that is on the display.
  • Tap and hold the anchor to drag the magnifying glass up and down the screen.

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How to Enable Offline Translation on iPhone in iOS 14

The Translate app, introduced in iOS 14, allows you to quickly translate between languages using text or voice input. With speech output, support for a dozen languages, and a comprehensive built-in dictionary, it’s an essential tool for travelers or students.

The Translate app, introduced in iOS 14, allows you to quickly translate between languages using text or voice input. With speech output, support for a dozen languages, and a comprehensive built-in dictionary, it’s an essential tool for travelers or students.

By default, the app uses cloud services to perform translations. However, you can also enable offline translation on your iPhone running this app by downloading the languages.

As a disclaimer, Apple warns that the offline translations might not be as accurate as online translations. This is because in the offline mode, the app does not use Apple’s cloud computing’s ability to deliver the best translated results.

Still, it’s handy if you do not have a network connection, especially while traveling to third world countries where Internet bandwidth is poor. It is also ideal if you have a sensitive job and do not want any translation data transferred over the Internet or potentially stored in the cloud

Let’s explore how to setup offline translation.

This is for the iPhone running iOS 14

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Accessing Translate

First, launch Settings (the Gear icon). Refer to below image:

Offline 1
Accessing Settings

Next, scroll way down and tap Translate. See below image:

Offline 2
Accessing Translate option

Enable On Device

Now, toggle to On the label On device mode. See following image:

Offline 3
Enabling on=device mode

Download Languages

A pop-up will be displayed alerting you that you need to download languages to translate locally on your device. Just tap Open App. Refer to below image:

Offline 4
Accessing Open App link

Next, a pop-up message will be displayed about the download of languages. See below image:

Offline 5
Downlaod of languages message

On the next screen, tap either of the two language pair buttons at top of the page. See following image:

Translate 4

In the list that appears, scroll down to the Available Offline Languages section. Now, tap the language you want to use offline, and it will download automatically. Please wait for the download to finish.

Now, repeat the above procedure for other language(s).

Once a language is downloaded, a checkmark will appear beside it. In my example, I have downloaded Spanish, so now I have English and Spanish for offline translations. Refer to below image:

Offline 6
Checkmark of downloaded languages

Translate Off Line

Next, tap Done in upper right-hand corner and you will be returned to the main Translate screen. Now, type in your text and the app will translate as usual but without a network connection. All of your translations will stay on your local device. See below example for translation from English to Spanish:

Offline 7
Translating Englis to Spanish

To return to cloud service translation, just toggle Off the label On device mode in Settings.

You are finished! You now have mastered offline translation on your iPhone.

I hope you have found this post helpful. If so, click the Tweet icon below. This will launch Twitter where you click its icon to post the Tweet.

I hope you have found this post helpful. If so, click the Tweet icon below. This will launch Twitter where you click its icon to post the Tweet.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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How to Use the Translate App for iPhone in iOS 14

The Translate app, introduced in iOS 14, allows you to quickly translate between languages using text or voice input. With speech output, support for a dozen languages, and a comprehensive built-in dictionary, it’s an essential tool for travelers or students.

The Translate app, introduced in iOS 14, allows you to quickly translate between languages using text or voice input. With speech output, support for a dozen languages, and a comprehensive built-in dictionary, it’s an essential tool for travelers or students.

This is for the iPhone running iOS 14

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Locate the App

First, let’s locate the Translate app. From your first Home screen, swipe right to open Today View. Now, type “translate” into the search bar that appears, then tap the Apple Translate icon (the first one in my example). If this is the first time to launch the Translate app, you will be presented with a few introductory screens; just follow the instructions to start the app. Refer to below image:

Translate 1
Accessing the Apple Translate app

When Translate opens, make sure you are in translate mode by tapping the Translate button at the bottom of the screen. See below image:

Translate 3
Accessing Translate button

Select the Languages

Next, you willl need to choose the language pair using the two buttons at the top of the screen.

The button on the left sets the source language, and the button on the right sets the destination language. See following image:

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Accessing Source and Destination lanuguage

Just tap either language to select your source or destination language. When finished, tap Done in upper right-hand corner. Refer to below image:

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Selecting your languages

Translation by Text

Now it’s time to enter the phrase you would like to translate. If you would like to type it with an on-screen keyboard, tap the Enter Text area on the main Translate screen. See below image:

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The text input area

Your screen will display an on-screen keyboard. Type in what you would like to translate , then tap Go at the bottome right-hand corner. See Following image:

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Entering text to translate

Translation by Voice

Another method is to speak the phrase that needs translation. Just tap the Microphone icon at the bottom on the main Translate screen. Refer to below image:

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Accessing microphone

When the screen changes, say the phrase you would like to translate out loud. As you speak, Translate will recognize the words and write them out on your screen. See below image:

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The translated text

When you are finished, you will see the resulting translation on the main screen, just below the phrase you spoke or entered.

Favorites and Dictionary

At the bottom of your screen, you will see a toolbar. See following image:

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The Translate toolbar

If you press the Favorite button (which resembles a star), you can add the translation to your Favorites list. You can access it later by pressing the Favorites button at the bottom of the screen. Refer to below image:

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Saving to Favorites

If you press the Dictionary button (which resembles a book) in the toolbar, the screen will to switch to Dictionary mode. In this mode, you can tap each individual word in a translation to see what it means. The Dictionary can also help you explore possible alternative definitions for the selected word. See below image:

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Accessing the Dictionary

Playback

If you press the Play button (a triangle in a circle) in the toolbar, you can hear the translation result spoken aloud by a computer synthesized voice. See following image:

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Playback your translation

That’s it. I hope you find this helpful on your travels to other countries or as a student mastering a different language.

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