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January 14, 2015

Word Lens in Mobile Google Translate

Google Translate's mobile apps are about to get a major upgrade. The latest version of the Google Translate app for iOS and Android adds support for instant translation with Word Lens and improves the conversation mode. The iOS app also adds support for conversation mode and camera translation, which were already available in the Android app.

"While using the Translate app, just point your camera at a sign or text and you'll see the translated text overlaid on your screen - even if you don't have an Internet or data connection. This instant translation currently works for translation from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, and we're working to expand to more languages," informs Google. There's already camera translation, which works in 36 languages, but the new Word Lens is smarter and easier to use. Google bought Word Lens last year and this is the first tangible result of the acquisition.

Conversation Mode is smarter too: the app will now recognize the languages automatically, so you don't have to tap the microphone button. "Starting today, simply tap the mic to start speaking in a selected language, then tap the mic again, and the Google Translate app will automatically recognize which of the two languages are being spoken, letting you have a more fluid conversation. For the rest of the conversation, you won't need to tap the mic again - it'll be ready as you need it," explains Google.

The new version of the Google Translate app for Android and iOS is rolling out over the next few days.

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