Google Translate, the frequently-overlooked wonder app of the 3rd millennium, got some new features today. Chief among them is an amazing new image-based translation mechanism. The app now supports use of your camera to take a picture of the text you would like to translate. Once that's done, just "brush" over the word or phrase you need to read and Translate will do what it says on the tin: render that text in your preferred language.
I first saw Word Lens for iOS on TechCrunch back in 2010 and instantly fell in love with the concept - just point the camera at foreign words, and all of them get translated in front of your very eyes, live. Amazing, isn't it? If you haven't seen this promo video yet, watch it first:
Every month since, I searched the Play Store for Word Lens, hoping its developers brought it to our favorite OS, but found nothing.
The headlines keep rolling in today - first, Google began selling the Galaxy Nexus online, and now, Mountain View has accidentally published details about its
exciting interesting... new cloud service.
The news was posted earlier today on Google's French blog before being taken down shortly thereafter; however, Google+ user Gerwin Sturm managed to catch it just in time.
Google Currents is probably the single best-looking Android app Google puts out, and since its initial release, it has also been so slow to sync that it's practically useless. But no longer - Currents has received its first major update, and rather than drag this thing out, I'll just present you with the changelog:
Google must be trying to warm my heart lately. After a video circulated of a legally blind man behind the wheel of Google's self-driving car made its rounds recently, Google now announces its Translator Toolkit. The new toolkit offers developers a suite of services for localizing their apps. This is the future we all dreamed of.
The toolkit will allow developer to upload certain files from their apps to translate the text to another language.
Google Translate just got a little update that brings big functionality: the ability to recognize written words in seven different languages. The previous version allowed for text and spoken input only, so this update adds just another method to the mix.
You may be asking yourself why is this a big deal? This is a useful feature partly due to the fact that it can translate Chinese and Japanese, which both use characters that are uncommon to English keyboards.
A fresh version of Google Translate hit the Market today. Conversation mode (direct speech to speech translation) now works in 14 languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian and Turkish. Also new is a personal dictionary, the ability to correct voice input before having it translated, and pinch zoom support for getting a close up of the translated text (Chinese symbols can get surprisingly complicated).
Every once in a while we get a humorous tip that is just too good to pass up. Check out what happens when you translate "Android 2.3.4" from German to English with Google Translate:
Whoops! It looks like you'll get the same result when you search for any version with 3 digits, from 2.2.1 to 2.3.4. Hit the link below to see it for yourself.
Have you ever been in a foreign country and tried to find your way around, order from a menu, or read a map in a language that you don’t understand? Language barriers can be incredibly frustrating, but we found a new app designed to go head-to-head with iOS’s Word Lens that can help you next time you’re in that kind of situation.
CamTranslator is a new app from IntSig that is designed to help break the communication barrier between languages using your phone’s camera.