Google Translate for Android review: A feature-packed and reliable translator

As for the handwriting option for Android, it's difficult to neatly write anything on a touch screen, so as expected the app had a hard time understanding my text. I actually got much better results writing on a piece of paper, then using the OCR technology to translate it.

While Google Translate certainly performs a solid job translating, what really makes it shine are the extra conveniences it offers. You can set Google Translate to automatically detect your input language (though not with the OCR feature) for quicker translations. There's a handy button to interchange your input and output languages. The app automatically keeps a history of your translations, and lets you star any of them for easy access later (even when offline). Text-to-speech output is available for select languages, and can be a huge help when you're dealing with unfamiliar phonetics. And finally, the SMS translation feature can pull in any of your text conversations for quick processing. Overall, there are a lot of extras, all of which come in handy.

Google Translate now comes with offline support. But if you want to use it, be sure you have enough storage space to download the necessary language packs. Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

With the latest update to Google Translate for Android, users finally got offline support. To use it, all you have to do is download the language packs for the languages you wish to translate between. As you can imagine, these language packs are pretty hefty (from 150MB to 300MB, based on what I've seen), but the functionality they afford is worth it. One thing to note is that these language packs are not as comprehensive as the online databases are when you're fully connected to the Internet. However, they still appear to be good enough for basic translations that travelers might need. Offline translations are now available for 50 different languages.

Overall, Google Translate is easy to use, can translate more than 60 languages, and offers a variety of input options, making it one of the best translation tools out there. And now, with its newly added offline support, this app is even tougher to beat.

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    Google Translate (Android)

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    • Category Education
    • Compatibility Android