Google Translate has gained a ton of cool new translation features over the years, but you usually have to open the app to use them. That's not the case with the latest update. Now, you can just copy text and have it translated on the spot. It's called Tap to Translate and it's part of the new Translate v5.0 update.
When you install the new Translate app, it may ask for permission to draw over other apps, depending on the version of Android you're running. It does this because the new translation button appears on top of what you're doing each time you copy text. Tap on it, and you get a pop-over window with the copied text and a translation from the detected language into English (or whatever your setting is). You can even get a new translation in this window to reply to a message in another language. This works for all languages supported by Translate.
This has the potential to be a much faster way to translate text, especially for messaging. However, the Translate bubble appears every time you copy something. If you aren't working with text in other languages very often, that could get annoying. Luckily, you can turn Tap to Translate on and off in the Translate settings.
This update also includes the ability to use Word Lens translation for Chinese text. The update is rolling out slowly, but we've got it on APK Mirror if you just can't wait.
- Google Blog