The apps are sorted in alphabetical order.
Remember when you had to cram new words in school? Well, sometimes we still have to do that as grown-up interpreters, be it for a fisheries meeting or a medical conference. Biscuit – which is available for iOS and Android – is a great app for that. You can very easily create new lists, for example by highlighting words in an article you are reading in the browser or in a document you are preparing. Throughout the day, Biscuit can send you notifications with a word in your list and its equivalent in another language. If you are an Evernote user (and you should be), you can unlock additional features like adding your Biscuit word lists to the Peek app, which I will present later, or taking a photo of a page in a book and have Evernote and Biscuit generate a word list from that page.
Evernote Peek (evernote.com/peek)
Peek is just such a brilliant idea. It uses your iPad and Apple’s Smart Cover or Smart Case for learning all kinds of stuff: new words, definitions or world capitals, for example. You start the app and close the lid. Now, just open the first segment of the smart cover to see the question or hint. If you know the answer, close the cover and repeat. If you’re not sure, open the second segment of the cover to see the correct answer and then click on “Correct” or “Incorrect”. Voilà, there’s an ingenious way to use your iPad for learning. Note that this app requires a (free) Evernote account and works very well with the Biscuit app I showed you earlier.
Haiku Deck (haikudeck.com)
Mr. Reader (curioustimes.de/mrreader)
Interpreters need to know about almost everything: world affairs, economics, sports, arts, you name it. A good way to keep up with it all is to use RSS feeds. Almost every website has them: click a button and you are automatically subscribed to the new content the site publishes. Mr. Reader is where I read all that content. I can easily browse the headlines and see a thumbnail image. If I want to read an article, I just tap and open it. When I’m done, I can save content for later, email it or share it on social networks. Mr. Reader is an iPad-only app, but Feedly (feedly.com) and Flipboard (flipboard.com) are great alternatives on Android.
As said earlier, interpreters read a lot, both at home and on the go. But sometimes, you stumble upon a very interesting article that you absolutely want to read, just not right now because you’re busy. Just put it in Pocket. Pocket is a “read-it-later” app, that will store all those must-not-miss articles and downloads them in a clean format to be read later, when you have time. Now, you always have reading material for long trips or when you’re relaxing in your favourite armchair. Pocket is a free app on iOS and Android.
Scanner Pro (readdle.com/products/scannerpro5/)
Here’s another app from Readdle and it’s extremely useful. You have probably been in that situation where you needed a piece of paper in digital form in order to email it to someone, for example. Your tablet has a built-in camera which usually provides good image quality. With scanner apps like Scanner Pro, you can just take a photo of your document and turn it into a neat PDF document. The app will recognize the edges of that piece of paper and automatically correct the perspective. You can also adjust the brightness or sharpen the picture, or change it from colour to grayscale. A good Android alternative to Scanner Pro is CamScanner (camscanner.com).