Translating text on your smartphone just got a whole lot easier.
Google on Wednesday rolled out new updates for the Android and iOS versions of its Translate app.
Android users are getting a new feature called Tap to Translate, which lets you translate text just by highlighting it. The feature works in any app that lets you highlight, according to Google. When you select some text, a Translate icon will appear at the top of your screen. Click the icon to render text from a foreign language into English, or vice versa.
Google rolled out an earlier version of Tap to Translate in October, but that iteration worked only with WhatsApp and the TripAdvisor app.
Meanwhile, Google Translate for iOS is getting an offline translation feature, which lets users translate text in 52 languages even when they're not connected to the Internet. It also added Chinese to its Word Lens app, allowing users to take a photo of text and see a translation overlaid on top of the image.
While Translation apps like Google's aren't perfect, advancements in translation software, as well as apps that let users to move quickly between languages, are eroding language barriers online, according to Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer at Microsoft UK.
"In five years, two people will be able to sit down, put a smartphone between them, and as they're talking, the phone will translate their conversation seamlessly," Coplin told British news site The Times in February.
Sounds awesome. Bring it on.
H/T The Verge