Welcome to the future. No, really, it's the future, right here and right now. And not just because we've got mobile processors that can calculate Pi to the ten trillionth digit, or because our video games are starting to look more like movies than games. Nope, what makes me feel like I'm living in The Future(TM) more than anything else is how all that pie-in-the-sky Moore's Law tech gets applied to solving very human problems, like figuring out where the exit is in the Jakarta airport.
Case in point: Google's Translate app is applying the Word Lens visual translate tool, which lets you point your phone's camera to a sign or piece of paper and see the text in your native language, to 20 new languages. Read More
Google acquired WordLens a while back, eventually integrating its visual text translation technology into the Translate app. It only supported seven languages at the time, but today's v4.0 update adds a lot more, and Google is showing off the visual translation feature with a nifty Google Translate vs. “La Bamba” video. Read More
We had an exclusive preview of upcoming changes to the Google Translate app last month, and Google just announced an update that matches exactly with our information. The new version of Translate is rolling out on Android and iOS with built-in Word Lens translation via the camera and a smarter conversation mode that can listen to both languages at once.
Before Chromebooks and Android, Google blew peoples' minds with its web services alone. Translate was one of them. Here was a website that took in whatever you typed and spat out something that at least kind of resembled the same words in a different language. Even now, translations aren't spot on, but it usually gets close enough to convey the message.
Google is still expanding the service, and now the company is ready to introduce support for ten additional languages. Chichewa (Malawi and surrounding areas), Malagasy (Madagascar), and Sesotho (Lesotho and South Africa) represent Africa. In Central Asia, there is Kazakh (Kazakhstan), Tajik (Tajikistan), and Uzbek (Uzbekistan). Read More
A few months ago Google purchased the developer of the impressive WordLens app, which translates text and signs from another language into your own simply by pointing your camera at it. The text appears in your language through the lens, as if you had super-powered Translate-O-Vision. As with Waze and Google Maps, it looks like Google's own Translate app will soon see the benefit of that acquisition. Check out the screenshots below, taken from an upcoming version of Google Translate.
You can see WordLens' trademark feature at work in Google Translate above, where it's live-translating an English menu into Spanish without any kind of delay or recording. Read More
Today's update to Google Translate probably won't affect most of our American readers, but if you live in or frequently travel to India, you're going to get a lot of use out of it. The update to version 3.0.6 adds spoken translation support for Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu, all widely spoken in different parts of the Indian subcontinent and other locations in Southeast Asia.
Many in the western hemisphere think that Hindi is the official language of India, and it is (along with English). But India is enormous, both in terms of geography and population, and it has one of the most diverse linguistic topographies of any country on Earth. Read More
The Google update fairy is making her rounds today, and one app to feel the effect of her wand is Google Translate. The new features are pretty straightforward, but for many of you, that won't make this release any less exciting.
Translate now supports handwriting in thirteen new languages. Instead of typing in characters, you can now scribble away and watch as Google recognizes your characters in Arabic, Bosnian, Cebuano, Gujarati, Hmong, Kannada, Maltese, Mongolian, Persian, Punjabi, Somali, Tamil, and Telugu.
If your language made the list, this is cool stuff. Otherwise, all there is to see here are bug fixes. Read More
Google Translate is a pretty great tool, but it's only useful if it actually works where you need it. Today it works in even more places, as Google has updated both the web service and the Android app with nine new languages, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Here's the full list:
- Hausa (Harshen Hausa) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
- Igbo (Asụsụ Igbo) - Nigeria
- Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
- Somali (Af-Soomaali) - Somalia and other countries around the Horn of Africa
- Zulu (isiZulu) spoken in South Africa and other south-western African countries
- Mongolian (Монгол хэл) - Mongolia
- Nepali (नेपाली) - Nepal and India
- Punjabi language (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (Gurmukhi script) - India and Pakistan
- Maori (Te Reo Māori) - New Zealand
All together, the updated languages cover more than 225 million native speakers around the world. Read More
Many Google apps received a redesign in time for the launch of KitKat, but the Google Translate app was not one of them. Well, its day is fast approaching. The app is now receiving an update that introduces a new look and other tweaks.
The camera, microphone, and handwriting input options have been moved to the top, and results appear in a clean list below. This should make getting useful translations that much easier.
The update introduces more language support for the app's handwriting feature, so users can manually write words in Esperanto, Hebrew, or Japanese and expect results. Read More
Following the release of beta features to Chrome stable yesterday, the beta channel of Chrome for Android was promoted to version 28 today.
The update brings a number of desired additions and improvements, all of which I will break down for you below. Here's the relatively incomplete list the Chrome team posted on its blog:
The Chrome team is excited to announce the promotion of Chrome 28 to the Beta channel. Chrome for Android 28.0.1500.21 contains a number of new improvements including:
- Google Translate: When you come across a page written in a language that isn't in the same language as your phone or tablet, look for the translation bar
- Fullscreen on tablets: Simply scroll the page to dismiss the toolbar
- Support for fullscreen API
- New graph showing your estimated bandwidth savings when you use the experimental data compression feature
- Mobile friendly error pages
Here's what Chrome's new mobile-friendly Translate bar looks like if you visit a site with a language different from your device's (for example, newsru.com):
I find built-in translation support to be one of Chrome's most useful features, so I applaud Google for finally bringing it to Android. Read More