Google has tweaked its Translate app to include several new features that make translation a more streamlined process for users of Android and iOS devices.
The first new feature is Tap to Translate for Google Translate on Android. This adds the ability to translate text directly within an app by tapping a widget rather than needing to copy and paste the text into the Translate app.
This effectively makes it easier to get instant translations of text from chats, comments, song lyrics and other written content. The new feature works with all 103 currently supported Google Translate languages.
Google has also added an Offline Mode for the iOS version of Translate which, as the name suggests, allows the app to be used when a WiFi or mobile broadband connection is not available.
Much like Offline Mode for the Android app, it works by providing an option to download a small data packet on the language being translated which is stored locally on an iPhone or iPad and allows Translate to be used without an internet connection.
The final new addition is a Chinese language translation for the Word Lens feature. This works by translating text detected on an object captured by the camera on a smartphone, and can now detect and translate the ideographic characters in the Chinese written language.
This means that travellers to China who are not familiar with the language can use Word Lens to get translations of menus, signs, labels and other printed text. The feature could be a boon for executives carrying out business in China.
Google regularly busies itself with updating Translate, including polishing the software for use with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
However, the company occasionally gets itself into hot water with translation faux pas, such as converting ‘Russian Federation’ into ‘Mordor’.
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