Google Translate Android app is all set to expand its reach by providing support for translating text in the images as well. This may remind you of the famous iPhone advertisement. Yeah, the one in which iPhone showcases its charismatic characteristics by dynamically converting a menu board into native language, simply by hovering over it.
That feature now has paved its way into Android too, with Google upgrading its Google Translate App recently. Better late than never, as a Google optimist would put it.
The trick would be a huge plus for Google Translate app as it is going to be immensely useful to people travelling abroad, who cannot understand the cryptic bill-boards and esoteric road-signs.
The feature might look as an extension of Google Goggles feature, which also allowed you to translate scanned text. This however, is a lot simpler and handier. Unlike Google Goggles, Google Translate lets you highlight the portion of the image to be translated manually, thereby providing more control and faster response.
While many believe it very closely resembles Word Lens, another image-translating Android app but the sore reality is that unlike Word Lens, Google Translate doesn’t translate images in real-time (using augmented reality). You would have to run your finger over the text to be translated in the image, for Google Translate to churn down those bits for you into your native language. The moment you hover your finger, Google Translate immediately starts the translation of words.
Users downloading the 2.5 version of Google Translate and using versions above Android 2.3 would be able to use the image-translation feature. Though, it works for only Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Portugese and Russian as of now, the rest 64 supported Google-translate languages are also likely to be appended in the near future.
The down-side of using Google Translate is that it requires a working Internet connection, which can be annoying as hotspots are hard to find and it is unlikely that people travelling abroad would have handsets with working data connection.
The up-side however is that it handles more languages and is dead-accurate. Moreover, it’s FREE to use and download, unlike Word Lens, which charges extra for language add-ons.
Google by developing such apps is transiting our lives and translating the smartphone concept to something more sagacious, pragmatic and astute.