Google Translate’s real-time translation feature is coming sooner than expected

On Monday a report from the New York Times claimed that Google Translate was going to be getting a real-time translation feature sometime in the near future. That future was nearer than expected, because Google has now officially announced it as a feature.

According to a Google blog post, new updates to the Google Translate app for iOS and Android will include real-time speech-to-text translation, along with the implementation of Word Lens’s instant translation camera.

Google does point out that the Android version of Google Translate has had real-time translation since 2013, but the new update will see major improvements that will help to speed up conversations.

Camera mode has also existed for sometime, allowing users to translate text on any photos they take. Word Lens, on the other hand, does it all in real time even if you’re not connected to the internet. Currently it’s only capable of translating to and from English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian, but Google promises that more languages are on the way.

Google claims that both the iOS and Android versions of the app have already been updated, but when I checked neither update appears to have gone live just yet. I would imagine it won’t take long for that to change, so keep your eye out.

Tom Pritchard