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Chrome for Android gets much-sought built-in translation

On-the-fly translation of Web pages is a fixture in Chrome for PCs, but now it's in the Android version, too. Also arriving: SPDY-augmented data compression.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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When Chrome for Android encounters a Web page in a different language, it will offer to translate it.
When Chrome for Android encounters a Web page in a different language, it will offer to translate it. Google

Google, always trying to break down language barriers as part of its mission to make the world's information accessible, has added on-the-fly, automatic Web page translation to its Chrome browser for Android devices.

Chrome 28 for Android, released Wednesday, has the translation feature built in, said Chrome team member Jason Kersey in a blog post. The feature has been built into Chrome for personal computers for years.

Also new in Chrome 28 for Android, according to Kersey and another Chrome team member, Dan Alcantara:

• An optimized user interface for right-to-left (RTL) languages including Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew.

• Full-screen support on tablets, which lets Web apps -- in particular games and video -- take over the entire screen.

• Support for Google's experimental data compression service that lets fast Google servers read a Web page, optimize it for mobile devices, then transmit it faster to a mobile device using Google's SPDY network technology. The service only works with unencrypted Web pages.

Google's server-assisted browsing only works for unencrypted Web pages. Encrypted ones use a direct channel to the secure Web page.
Google's server-assisted browsing only works for unencrypted Web pages. Encrypted ones use a direct channel to the secure Web page. Google