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5 apps that will make you say 'Wow!'

5 apps that will make you say 'Wow!'
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

If you can dream it, there is an app for that. There are approximately 1.2 million apps in the Apple store and, interestingly, just about the same number in the Google Play store that powers Android gadgets.

Much like any other crowd, there are certain ones that stand out. They challenge the norm. People who think outside the box created them. I've created list of the latest apps that use your smartphone or tablet in a way you can hardly believe.

Instant language translator

One of the biggest obstacles to travel is the language barrier. I've often wished for the universal translator from Star Trek. Amazingly, we're almost there.

The free Google Translate app for iOS and Android can translate 80 languages. That covers the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, much of Asia, major African dialects, the Middle East and even countries in the South Pacific like Indonesia.

The app is very versatile. You can speak, type or hand write a phrase and then choose the language to translate to. In the Android version, it can even translate text in photos, so figuring out menu items is as easy as taking a picture.

The app does require an Internet connection, so if you are traveling abroad, make sure you have a working data plan or a Wi-Fi connection. Find free Wi-Fi anywhere with this cool app.

The Android version does allow you to download language packs for offline use, but the results are pretty limited. There is an alternative way to communicate. On both Apple and Android, you can save translations to the phrasebook so you can pull them up quickly, even offline. So helpful when you are in the jungle and need to locate the nearest restroom!

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