Jan 14 AT 10:44 AM Sean Riley 3 Comments

Google Translate updated with live translation


Just a couple days ago, we brought you the news that a Google Translate update would be coming at some time in the future, but we had no idea that it would arrive this quickly.

Rolling out today for both Android and iOS, the Google Translate app is picking up a couple new tricks that will make translation faster and more seamless than ever.

First, the existing Word Lens functionality that allows you to take a picture of text and get a translation for it in 36 languages will no longer require that you take a picture of the text. Instead, it will simply carry out the translation as soon as you activate the app and point it at the relevant text. This will work without a data connection, which is great news for travelers, and at present it can handle translation of English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. More languages will be added to instant translation in the future, but until that time the rest of the supported languages will continue to require that you take a picture to carry out the translation.

Instant Word Lens Translation

As someone that has stared at a sign or menu overseas at struggled to comprehend it on more than one occasion, this is pretty mind-blowing. But the next piece of the update might be even more impressive.

For those familiar with the app, it has been able to translate live speech since 2013, but it required that you tap the mic each time that someone was ready to speak and to make sure that the appropriate language was selected. Now you simply need to select the languages that are being spoken at the outset and hit the mic and from there on the app will continue to translate the conversation back and forth while recognizing which language is being spoken at any given moment.

Google Translate instant translation

Google Translate has been one of those apps that I show people to really blow them away with how powerful their device is for some time now, and I think this latest update really pushes it into the realm of science fiction.

As is often the case, this is a rolling update. We haven’t seen it on our devices yet, so if you get the update we would love to hear how it works for you.

Via: Play Store: Google Translate

Source: Google Search Blog

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • Tarman

    The current existing version of word lens doesn’t require you to take a picture to translate, just open the app & point at the text & it translates automatically.

    • Rob

      That’s how this works. He was simply opening the camera to see the sign. Google took the best parts of word lens and put that in here.

      Can’t wait for it to roll out to me!

  • Bart

    Just about everything about being over 60 sucks, including not in touch with great apps because my peer-group lags woefully behind on technology. Unless I read about it here or other sites, I never learn about them. I searched Google Play and sure enough Word Lens is still offered there as a stand-alone app. I wish I heard about this much earlier. Some 46,000+ people have heard about it.