New app provides subtitles and translations for Facetime

Shareplay, one of the news in this fall’s system updates from Apple, was released for iOS earlier this fall and has now finally also come to the Mac. Shareplay is first and foremost about being able to watch things together with others via Facetime, so that everyone in the conversation sees the same thing at the same time.

But Apple has made Shareplay more useful than that, as shown by a new interesting app from developer Jordi Bruin, reports 9 to 5 Mac.

The app is called Navi and is also available as a Mac application. Instead of synchronized media playback, Navi is about translating in near real time when you and the person you are talking to do not understand each other – either because one of you is deaf or because you have no common language.

For the deaf, it is about getting subtitles and being able to read what the interlocutor says. For others about getting a subtitled translation of what they say. The app supports and can translate between more than 20 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, French and German. Swedish is also included.

By using Apple’s Shareplay api, subtitles are sent with total distance encryption between you and the call partners, and thus do not go through any third-party servers. For translations, Google’s translation engine is used and the call is sent to Google’s servers, but no personal data is sent.

Navi is free to test. The subtitle function is purchased for a lump sum of SEK 45, while translations are purchased in packages with “tokens” that are consumed during conversations.