Google Translate is getting a rather hefty update

Google Translate is a very useful tool if you’re in another country and you don’t understand the local lingo, but it is rather limited in what you can do. Thankfully Android Police is reporting that the app is getting a rather large update with features that will make it much easier for you to work out what’s going on.

The first big feature is reportedly taking advantage of Google’s acquisition of Word Lens by offering a similar functionality. For those of you who don’t know what Word Lens is, it’s a service that will scan an image with foreign text and translate it into a language that you can understand. This means you can get real-time translations on things like signs and menus.

The second is a conversational feature that will make it easier for two people speaking different languages to converse. Say one person is speaking English, and one is speaking German. By setting the app to translate English and German it will translate English and German speech as it hears it. Previously you’d have to keep switching between languages manually, so this is a much better system.

It’s not clear when the update will be released to the public, but Android Police claims that is close to completion. So it shouldn’t take too long for us to see it in action.

Tom Pritchard