After teasing it earlier this year, Google is now rolling out real-time translation transcriptions in the Google Translate app for Android. The feature will be delivered as part of an app update, which also brings a slight tweak to the app's interface and will be landing over the "next few days." It will work in any combination of eight currently supported languages: English, French, German, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Thai, and Spanish.
Just a day after we noticed that Google Translate will soon be able to save translation history to Google accounts, the service is back in the news. This time, the Google Translate team has announced that five new languages — Kinyarwanda, Odia (Oriya), Tatar, Turkmen, and Uyghur — are coming to its growing library.
Whether you're traveling abroad, reading a menu at your favorite foreign restaurant, or trying to muddle your way through a foreign language class (guilty), Google Translate is a lifesaver when it comes to deciphering words and phrases outside of your native tongue. What it hasn't been able to do, however, is sync information between multiple devices, though that is about to change. With an upcoming service update, users will be able to save their translation history to their Google accounts.
For those who frequently visit foreign countries, a reliable or affordable data connection can be hard to come by. Thankfully, Google's Translate app has a robust offline mode that should be getting even better soon. Today, Google announced improvements to offline performance that will increase the accuracy of translations and expand the availability of pronunciation data in a variety of languages.
Back in 2011, Google Translate made it easier to interpret live discussions thanks to Conversation mode. The app also got a fresh coat of paint more recently, making it easier to summon it. In parallel, Assistant-enabled speakers got the ability to translate live conversations in April, which essentially turned them into digital interpreters. Unfortunately, the functionality was exclusive to smart speakers and displays and wasn't available on phones until now. Google just released the feature on mobile devices as well, making it easier to have a conversation with someone who speaks a different language on the go.
Before Android Q Beta 5 launched, details from a leaked internal build were already doing the rounds on Reddit. This gave us a glance at some functionality that didn't make it into the publicly available beta build, like an option to change the back gesture's sensitivity. Another feature from the internal build has now surfaced that offers to translate the contents of an app preview in the Recents screen.
Interpreting and translating live speech is much trickier than simply processing written text. Indeed, unlike human brains, machines would typically need to go through three separate phases to convert oral communication from one language to another. Initially, speech would need to be interpreted by the machine and transcribed into text, which would then be translated into the target dialect, before being fed into a text-to-speech engine to be spoken out loud. Although this cascaded process is transparent for the user and relatively fast, Google is working on a more natural speech-to-speech method it called Translatotron, which doesn't need intermediate processing for translation.
In this crazy world we live in, it's comforting to know that some things will never change — the sky is blue, the sun rises in the east, and Google releases a new version of Chrome (roughly) every six weeks. Chrome v74 is now available on desktop and mobile platforms, and while it doesn't include a massive number of noticeable changes, there is still plenty to talk about.
Slowly but surely, Google is adding a dark mode to all of its applications in preparation for Android Q. Chrome's dark mode first made an appearance early last month, and has finally trickled down to the stable channel with Chrome v74.
During CES last month, Google announced its Home speakers and smart displays with Assistant would be capable of becoming virtual interpreters and translate live conversations between people speaking in different languages. The feature seems to be rolling out to the masses as an official support page has been set up, and several devices are now capable of translating discussions.