Today I'm starting a new series of posts about Phone apps that make life easier for people living or travelling abroad. As someone who is obsessional about mobile technology and driven to find ways of making life more simple, I thought I'd highlight a few of the most useful apps I use in the pursuit of elegance and efficiency in the 21st Century.
So today Im looking at Abbey Text Grabber.
This app is one of my favourites for the simple reason that its always on me and always available for those moments when I need to either record down some info, translate some info or OCR (Optical Character Recognition) some info.
Imagine for an example:
Im in a bar, browsing the daily edition of El Pais Newspaper and - for example - I come across an interesting small article on the Gazpachomonk. Well, with text Grabber I can take a photo of the text and then choose to do a number of very useful things: OCR the text and store it on my phone as a digital record (no longer a photo but editable text). Or, is this is where the travel and living abroad bit comes in, I can OCR, then translate it into another language in seconds, and store, email, post to FB, Twitter etc from within the App.
Imagine you are in a restaurant and boasting to your family, friends and visiting dignitaries how good your Spanish is, when someone asks you to translate a menu item that you have never seen before. You mumble a few words about not carrying your glasses, but no-one appears convinced as they know you wear contact lens. What to do?
Well, hold upo the menu high so no-one can see what you are doing, take out your phone and quickly OCR the word and translate it. Before you know it your street credibility and self image will have been restored.
Finally, you recive a worrying letter from Hacienda (Inland revenue) asking for details of your financial affairs from 7 years ago. Do you spend the next 3 hours flipping though the dictionary translating every impossible legal term or do you simply OCR the text and translate it into a language more familiar?
All this ease of living and peace of mind can be yours for just a euro or two.
Finally, I'll tell you how I use it. When reading a book and I come across a great quote, I used to have to type it into my phone or laptop to remember it or use it in an article or tweet. Now, I just OCR it. Wonderful.
Check out the great little video below to see the ease of use. You can find out more by visiting their web site here.
Why Orwell is essential to understanding Spain today. More here - Forgotten Stories From Spain
Find out More about the ebook and audio
Forgotten Stories From Spain Book HERE
AND WATCH THE TORTILLA VIDEO HERE