Vocre was one of the more popular battlefield companies at Disrupt SF 2011; the automagical quality of the app and their excellent on-stage presentation made them one of the frontrunners. They haven’t been idle since then, though, and they’ve taken the advice of some critics who suggested their pay-per-use model was going to turn off users.
They’re releasing a new version of the app today with a few significant improvements, most notably that the app is now free.
The announcement described it as “freemium,” but TechCrunch confirmed with Vocre that it is indeed “free as in beer” and should be from now on for consumers. They are planning an enterprise solution down the road that will have tiered pricing — could be useful for cross-country conference calls, and it will probably be cheaper than a full-time translator.
They also now support 23 languages, inclusive of dialects/regional differences, i.e. Canadian French and French French both count as languages. You may think that’s cheating, but try telling that to the Quebecois.
There’s also a new “tabletop” mode that lets you have a conversation without handing the phone back and forth, and some improvements to the UI. No ads or anything have been added to support the free model; presumably they have monetization ideas