Apple is reportedly allowing staff from their Cupertino, California office to beta test a machine translation service that translates from English into 32 other languages. The translation service can be accessed by Apple staff through their internal AppleWeb portal, making it essentially an Apple-only, browser-based machine translation service a la Google Translate.
The simple interface follows the usual browser-based design where text input on a left-side text box is translated on a right-side output box. Employees can also upload files for translation.
The story from French Apple news website MacG comes just months after Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June 2017 unveiled that Siri on the iOS 11 can translate English into five languages.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Software Vice President of Software Engineering, gave a brief demo of Siri’s new translation capabilities during the latest WWDC in June. The event presented the latest developments relating to the voice-activated assistant, including more natural-sounding male and female voices and translation capability from English to Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish and German. Siri can translate voice and text input.
Finally, the same source reports that the Apple translation service appears to be developed internally, without, of course, the use of either Google or Microsoft machine translation. The site points out that Federighi promised support for more languages, but has not provided a timeline for release.
Apple’s websites and media are giving no indication regarding these developments, and the Jobs at Apple portal does not seem to be listing machine translation opening-related positions. It does display job openings within localization, though with standard job descriptions not alluding to the new machine translation service.