Google Translate was a service first introduced as a website allowing users to instantly translate between different languages. The advantages of having such capabilities on a mobile device, like a smartphone, are obvious which is why Google Translate was offered as an app for Android smartphones. iPhone users on the other hand have only had access to the service via a HTML5 web app. This week, Google has announced that the iPhone and iPod touch, running iOS version 3 or later, will finally get a Google Translate app of their own.The Google Translate for iPhone app is now available from the App Store. Besides typing words and phrases to translate into one of more than 50 languages currently supported, users have the option of voice input. 15 languages are supported and can be accessed by pressing the microphone icon next to the text box. Once selected, you can simply say what you want to translate. Translations can even be spoken out loud in one of 23 different languages.Just last month Google introduced a desktop version of Google Translate with the same ability. In fact, the same new speech synthesizer voices introduced in the desktop version are used in the mobile app version too.Even if you don’t want translations spoken out loud, or if the language you need is not supported, the app supports a full-screen mode to assist with communication. This mode allows translated text to be enlarged making it easier to read or even show to the person you may be trying to communicate with. Other features supported in the iPhone app, which are also included in the web app, are dictionary results for single words, access to starred transactions, support for romanized texts like Pinyin and Romaji, and access to your translation history even when offline.Read more at the Google Mobile BlogBrian’s OpinionAs much as Apple would love to compete with Google, especially when it comes to mobile operating systems, at the end of the day Google services are wanted by iPhone and iPod touch users. So, though it must be bitter sweet when Apple approves yet another Google app, at the same time Apple is giving its users what they want which is why the iPhone continues to grow in popularity.Widespread use of Google services is influencing our global culture. Using Google Translate as an example, gone are the days where you would see the majority of tourists visiting a country walking around with language books pointing to translations for commonly used phrases such as, “Where is the bathroom?” Now, a tourist can use their smartphone to reference the appropriate word or phrase to show to a local or even have their smartphone say the phrase. I would say that probably makes a few people more confident about traveling to a country where a foreign language is spoken.Of course, there are some iPhone apps which don’t need to do any translation to allow a tourist to connect with someone who doesn’t speak their language. I’m sure Angry Birds has done its own small part to help maintain global goodwill.