Google’s sorcery-based language tool, Google Translate, is an unsung hero among the search giant’s collection of apps. Being able to quickly translate entire web pages with the press of a button is pretty awesome on its own, but being able to do it via your watch or even photography … sorcery, as I said.
It’s fine for desktop computing or speech, but everyone knows that cell phone screens are a little trickier, especially if you’re in an app at the time. Sure, you can copy some text, open a web browser, and search the phrase for a translation, but chances are you’ll opt for blissful ignorance. Google no longer wants you to take the easy route.
“Tap to Translate” is a new feature that will appear whenever you highlight text in a foreign language. Where you only saw copy and paste, you will now see a translation bubble, similar to Facebook Messenger headers. Tap it and Google Translate will offer you its best estimate of what was said in your native language. It works in 103 languages on any phone that uses Jellybean or later, and should be happy to work in any app that lets you highlight text, as this WhatsApp demo demonstrates:
In addition to that, the latest update now brings offline mode to iOS and introduces photo recognition for Simplified and Traditional Chinese. Which means you too can know that this suspicious package claims to contain milk:
Google says these updates will be rolling out over the next few days.