Google Translate App updates

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Google’s popular Translate app has been updated in the Play market, bringing with it improvements to text and handwriting translation, instant results as you type, and more. Perhaps the most impressive new feature is the ability to use translate with your phones camera; highlight text in an image by swiping your finger across it to highlight it (see photo below), and Translate applies Google’s image-recognition algorithm to figure out what the printed words are, and then translates them to your designated language.

For anyone who has tried to travel around another country filled with street signs or public transportation displays and not been able to read them, the use of the new feature will be immediately apparent. Even simple things like visiting a museum or historical site in another country can now be much more informative (and hopefully enjoyable) with Translate’s newfound abilities.

The complete list of new features is:

  • Use camera to take a picture and brush text to translate (available on Android 2.3 and above).
  • Get instant translation results as you type.
  • Choose dialect preference for speech input.
  • Japanese handwriting now recognizes multiple characters at once.
  • Added access network state permission to check network availability when sending requests.

Unfortunately there hasn’t been a similar update to the iOS app (nor for Windows or BlackBerry users), but hopefully one is in the pipeline, as iPhone users like to travel to foreign countries as well.


Historically, some of the biggest technology-driven disruptions have happened quietly, while the rest of the market is focused on more high-profile areas of growth. Such appears to be the case with Google's announcement that it will offer an offline mode for its Android Translate tool, effectively eliminating the need to purchase a dedicated language dictionary.

The new option is called Offline Languages, and it allows mobile users to download translation packages for 50 languages, including Chinese, Arabic, French, and Spanish.

"While the offline models are less comprehensive than their online equivalents, they are perfect for translating in a pinch when you are traveling abroad with poor reception or without mobile data access," Google associate product manager Minqi Jiang wrote in a blog post.

Without a mobile data plan, or at least one that doesn't include hefty international roaming charges, many travelers still rely on good old fashioned offline language dictionaries when traveling abroad.

From the specialized electronic dictionaries that can cost hundreds of dollars, to the traditional paper dictionaries that have mostly defied the widely reported death of print, offline language translation tools remain an essential part of the global tourists' standard operating equipment. Android's new Offline Languages option takes the robust translations from Google that many have come to rely upon and frees them from the requirements of Internet connectivity.

While it's true that in the past Google Translate hasn't always offered the very best translations or explanations, thanks to crowd-sourced amendments from users, the product is now far more accurate, even when it comes to obscure colloquial phrases.

The Google Translate app for Android is currently available as a free download in the Google Play store.

Google Adds Offline Mode to Translate for Android | News & Opinion |
Have you noticed an update to the Google Translate app? You may have realized there is not much of a change. That is, unless you are running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, in which case you definitely have something new to look forward to.

The Google Translate team has been hard at work bringing system-wide translation to our devices, adding the ability to decipher text across all applications. This means users no longer need to go through the hassles of switching to the Translate app, entering a word (or phrase), translating it, copying it, then going back to paste it in the application of choice. Those with the latest Android version can now simply highlight text from any app and translate it instantly. It’s as easy as pie.

We know: this is no good for most of us right now, as very few people are using the Android 6.0 Marshmallow preview software. It’s definitely a sign of good things to come, though. This is only a taste of what Marshmallow can do with text. Not only will this feature be available to all users once Android 6.0 starts spreading, but other applications and services may be able to take advantage of these capabilities later on.

Interested? You will have to wait until you get Android 6.0 Marshmallow on your device. On the Google Translate side, the update is already available from the Google Play Store. Have any of you tested this feature yet? Do tell us how it’s treating you!

Google Translate update: convert text across all apps when running Marshmallow
Google has released a new update for Android app that brings Tap to Translate to instantly translate text within any app on your Android phone using the new Tap To Translate button that appears once you copy . This was first
announced last year for Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) devices and is now available for devices running Android 4.2 (Jellybean) and later.

To use the in-app translation, simply highlight the text that you want to translate and then hit the Translate button that pops up. The text will be translated in a pop up window, and you can choose to replace your text with the translated text from there. Tap to Translate works for all 103 of Google Translate’s languages
The iOS app gets new Offline Mode to download languages easily for offline translation in 52 languages. The download package has been reduced by 90% so they are now 25 MB each. Word Lens feature that offers instant image translation is now available in Chinese , making it the 29th language for instant visual translation.

Google Translate for Android can now translate text within any app
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