Yandex Blog

Yandex's Translation App for iPhone and iPad Now Provides Translations When Offline

Translation apps on mobile devices sure come in handy when you’re travelling to different countries where you don’t know the local language. But usually they use the internet to perform their translations, which means you need to go online to get help communicating with people or deciphering restaurant menus.

We have recently released an offline version of our Yandex.Translate mobile app for iPhone and iPad. So now this application can work without connecting to the internet, saving you the cost of internet roaming or the trouble of finding a wi-fi hotspot.


Yandex.Translate can be installed from App Store for free. After that, just go to the settings and choose the language pair or pairs that you need to translate to and from, and download the translation database onto your device. Five language pairs with English are available for offline translation: English-German, English-French, English-Italian, English-Spanish and English-Russian. If an English-speaking user is travelling from the UK to Spain, they’ll only need the English-Spanish offline translation database to get by day-to-day, while the other language pairs will only be available online (the app warns about this). After returning home to the UK, the user can delete the English-Spanish offline translation data to free up space.

While we’re on the subject of space and size, we really went to great lengths to get the balance right. As you might know, statistical machine translation is based on searching and indexing parallel texts on the internet. We look for already translated texts and phrases, compare them with the original and rank them according to how often they occur. You can read more about that here. These parallel texts, phrases and word combinations are quite cumbersome, taking up gigabytes on our servers.

For the translation app to work offline, we had to streamline the parallel translation database, so that only the most common translations remained. For example, if the full translation database gives 100 different ways to translate “where can I get the best tapas in Barcelona” into Spanish, the mobile version will retain only the 10 most commonly used translations.

We understand that this kind of streamlining can lower the quality of offline translations, and solving this problem was our biggest challenge. We ran a multitude of different tests and experiments to determine the optimal database size that would retain an acceptable translation quality for offline mobile gadgets. For every kind of translation, the optimal size turned out to be 500 MB. Larger (that is, with the addition of more translation variations) brings insignificant improvements to quality, even if the size is multiplied. And reducing the size and the number of translation options causes serious loss of quality without freeing up much space.

Yandex’s offline translation app can help users in daily life situations in foreign countries, whether they’re on vacation or a business trip: telling a taxi driver where to take them, comprehending what’s on a menu, understanding what street signs and warning signs say. These are the situations in which mobile translation apps are most often used. Our statistics also show that Yandex.Translate is used in private correspondence, school homework and university assignments, for reading tourism guides or news on the internet, for translating recipes, poems and songs. The average length of translations on mobile devices is five to seven words. At present, Yandex.Translate handles about 400,000 translations on mobile platforms every day. Most of our users are in Russia, but we are working on making the app popular outside our home country.

Since we first announced it in December 2012, the capabilities of mobile Yandex.Translate have grown enormously: it now “knows” 44 languages, offering a text-to-speech function for some – meaning it not only translates a phrase from your native language into a foreign one, but also lets you hear how it sounds when spoken.

Yandex.Metrica Knows Who Used Your App on Android via 3G in London One Hour Ago

– and will tell you all about it just in a couple of clicks

Other than being one of the most popular search engines on the planet, we also make mobile apps. Just like everyone else. As of today, there are 25 apps published by Yandex, from maps and photos to cloud storage and navigation, enjoyed by millions users on their iPhones, iPads, Windows Phones, Android phones and other devices all over the world. Our users have always been our first priority; naturally, to meet all their expectations and maybe do more, we want to know who they are – where they come from, what device and operating system they use, which language they prefer for their interface, what type of connection they have and which provider they use, what they do in the app and how long it takes.

Like any other mobile developer, we tried and tested all sorts of mobile analytics solutions, free and paid. Some of them allowed us to view how many users we had per day or how many of our users were from London. Others went a step further and told us how many users from London we had per day. At a push, we could also see how many users from London per day we had on Android devices.

Only a few of the mobile analytics solutions that we tried could provide us with information in real time. All of them required quite a lot of time and effort to create data reports, which would combine a large number of parameters. We wanted to know more, we wanted it fast and we wanted it to be easy. So, we made an app usage analytics tool of our own - Yandex.Metrica for Apps.

Our good, old and trusted web analytics tool Yandex.Metrica has been measuring site traffic, visitor behavior and ad efficiency for Yandex since 2008. From 2009, the year when Yandex.Metrica became publicly available, millions of websites, online services and advertising clients have been using this tool free of charge. So, we tweaked the analytics tool we loved to use for websites to use it for our apps. And now, our Yandex.Metrica for Apps becomes available to all mobile developers anywhere in the world to use for free.

Yandex.Metrica for Apps is a combination of all the lovely qualities that any mobile app developer will love:

Yandex.Metrica for Apps has a no-nonsense, easy-to-use user interface. It takes only a few clicks to create personalised, high-precision, comprehensive profiles of your app’s audience.

Easy-to-read, custom-made reports 
Using Yandex.Metrica for Apps, you can create app usage reports according to your specifications, which can include any combination of the following parameters: users’ country, app’s version, operating system and its version, device type (tablet or smartphone), model and manufacturer, screen resolution, user interface language, mobile provider, connection type, user actions and time of user sessions.

Real-time information 
Yandex.Metrica for Apps shows you the app’s usage data that is only a few minutes or even seconds old. You can also see what happened in your app hours, days, weeks or months ago.

Crash reports
Yandex.Metrica for Apps offers you detailed, customised reports on your app’s crashes. If there are any.

Popular mobile platforms
Yandex.Metrica for Apps is designed to work on any of the popular platforms. It will seamlessly build into your Android, iOS or Windows Phone app.

Any mobile developer can now see almost in real time a day-by-day breakdown for one week of the number of new users, say, in London and San Francisco who made an in-app purchase using the 1.01 version of the app on Samsung Galaxy S4:

Or, the number of new users of the app’s 1.10 version in the U.S. who spent 30 to 60 seconds interacting with the app, by device:

Or, all the crashes your app had in one week, by device type:

Or, the number of crashes the new users of the app’s version 1.02 on tablets in Germany had in one week:

To start generating personalised reports on your app’s usage, register at, receive the API key and integrate SDK Yandex.Metrica for Apps into your app. Your reports will be available for viewing in your account at within just one minute after integration.

The next version of Yandex.Metrica for Apps, on which we are working hard right now, will include marketing tools, which will complement the existing statistical tools. The new options will give developers an opportunity to see their traffic sources and funnels and use advanced event settings. We cannot wait.
Let us know what you think of our new mobile analytics solution Yandex.Metrica for Apps.

And those of you in London on October 22 or 23 can come and see Yandex.Metrica for Apps in action at our stand 437 at the developer conference and exhibition Apps World in Earls Court. Alex Kochubey, our very own Yandex.Store developer, who spends more time segmenting his user audience than enjoying any other of life’s pleasures, will show and tell all about it.