Android gets Google Translate update

The latest version of the free Google Translate app for Android includes improvements for easier operation, as well as the addition of a new, experimental feature.

Jasmine France Former Editor
Google Translate

Android users who have found themselves fighting the language barrier have probably heard of Google Translate, a free translation app for Android. Although it's not the most feature-packed translator for Android, it offers a simple way to translate basic words and phrases among dozens of languages. It also includes spoken translations and romanization of non-Roman scripts. Although sentences may come out kind of wonky depending on the structure, it definitely works in a pinch.

Today, Google announced an update for its Translate app, with a focus on tweaks that aim to make the interface easier to navigate and the program more user-friendly. Among the changes: a more responsive input box, improved drop-down boxes for selecting languages to translate between, and a cleaner layout.

Google Translate is also introducing an experimental feature called Conversation Mode. The idea with this mode is to allow you to communicate fluidly with someone nearby who is speaking another language. With the press a button, the app will record your piece of the conversation; it will then translate your speech and read it aloud to the other person. At launch, Conversation Mode is only available between English and Spanish, and while it is in alpha, factors like background noise and regional dialects are expected to interfere somewhat with the functionality.