Google has rolled out new updates for its Google Translate app for Android and iOS, in its 5.0 version. Android users can translate text just by highlighting it through a new feature Tap to Translate, the company stated in a blogpost.
It works for all 103 Google Translate languages. This feature works on any Android phone running Jellybean 4.2 and above. Instead of having to copy and paste text from apps into Translate, the translation will appear when one just copies the text, which shows up as an overlay without having to switch between different apps.
The feature’s not new though, as Google had soft-launched it late last year in select apps like WhatsApp, but Tap to Translate now works on any app that lets you select text.
Meanwhile, Google Translate for iOS is also getting an offline translation feature, which lets users translate text in 52 languages even when they’re not connected to the Internet. They’ve also compressed the packages from 250 MB to about 25 MB each, shrinking it by 90 percent. Earlier, only the Android app had this offline translation function.
The company also announced that they have also added Filipino language pack, bringing the total number of offline languages to 52.
Also, on its Word Lens app for both iOS and Android, the company has added both simplified and traditional Chinese, which translates a street sign by taking a photo of the text, bringing the number of Word Lens-ready languages to 29.
Google said the updates are rolling out over the next few days.
Translate is not the first app on the block with in-app translations. There are a lot many translation apps, however, not many provide all the functions of Google Translate.
In April, one of Google’s biggest competitor, Microsoft had updated its Translator app on Android to enable translation of text in any app, without switching apps, according to VentureBeat. It also provides offline support to iOS.
Microsoft had also updated the Android app for image translation at the same time, competing with Google Translate, which had launched the same feature in July last year.
However, Google hasn’t said anything about the Windows platform.