Google Translate for Android gets significant upgrade

Google Translate for Android gets significant upgrade
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.

Google Translate for Android gets significant upgrade


source: Google Play

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8 Comments

1. serious9010

Posts: 254; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Can't wait 'till this comes to iOS!! :D

2. android_hitman unregistered

keep waiting....

4. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

it'll come sooner than you think... people here think google hates apple like they do...smh lol

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Tried it on my gingerbread phone. Very impress with its camera, snap and translate very good tool for oversea travel.

3. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I seen to recall an iOS app that translated on the fly. If you put text in the field of view of the camera, it read translated on your screen. I mean it changed it live. So if you held it up to a stop sign in English, and it was set to translate to Spanish, on your screen you'd see the same stop sign, but instead of stop it would say alto. Or am I just remembering wrong?

5. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

You're right. Its an app called "Word Lens". It used to be iOS only, but a quick search revealed its now in the Google Play Store for $4.99 but they're is a demo version. Pretty good app.

6. Angkor

Posts: 108; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Where is Khmer language?

8. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Windows Phone has had this for a while with Translator (Bing-powered)... Good to see Google getting it, too

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