Google’s Tap to Translate on Android will allow users to directly translate text across apps, via a new translation pop-up. Google CEO Sundar Pichai had announced the feature when he had visited India in December 2015.
Google announced a number of updates for Tap to Translate including improved Offline Mode and a Word Lens in Chinese.
“Now, you can just copy the text of a chat, comment, song lyric, etc. in whichever app you’re using, and a translation will pop up right there—no need to switch apps,” says Google. The feature is expected to make translations easier for those who can’t understand regional languages.
Google says that it is rolling out the improvements after talking to thousands of people in India, Indonesia, Brazil, and Thailand to learn what works, and what doesn’t.
Google Tap to Translate feature works for all 103 languages supported by app. It will be supported on Android smartphones running Android Jellybean (4.2) and above. Users will need to install the Google Translate app on their smartphone to experience the feature.
Next up, Google’s Offline Mode allows users to download small offline language packages. According to the post, the company has shrunk the packages by 90 per cent, to make them more manageable at 25MB each. Google says that this because previous users found the “packages too big to download on unreliable data connections.”
The Offline Mode can be set-up by clicking the arrow next to the language name to download the relevant package. It works on iOS and Android, with Tap to Translate. Google has also added a Filipino language pack, bringing the total number of offline languages to 52.
Google also added Word Lens in Chinese. “It’s 29th language for instant visual translation, and it reads both to and from English, for both Simplified and Traditional Chinese,” says Google. The Word Lens can be tried on menus, signs, packages, and other printed text. It works offline too.
The updates will roll out over the next few days.