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Google Now on Tap can now translate text from any app or screen

That's a big step up for the feature, which previously could only translate text on webpages.

Now playing: Watch this: Ways to use Android Marshmallow's Now on Tap

Google has beefed up its Now on Tap feature to translate more than just webpages.


Google's Now on Tap feature has expanded its language translation skills.

Now on Tap, which can translate certain languages to and from your native tongue, now supports any mobile app or screen on your Android device, Google said in a blog post published Wednesday. On webpages written in foreign languages, the feature offers to translate the text into your native language. In apps and other screens, just hold down the Home button and tap the "Translate this screen" card, and the text gets translated.

The translation feature is available for phones with the language set to English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian, Google said. You can even translate multiple languages on a single screen.

Google has tried to corner the market on machine-based translation to aid people as they surf the web and bump into pages written in foreign languages. It provides translation via a mobile app, a dedicated webpage and its Chrome browser. But it faces competition from rival services such as Skype Translation and Microsoft Translate.

Now on Tap also now offers other features.

A new discover feature can provide information about things you see on your screen. Use your Android device to search for a subject such as Donald Trump. From the results, open an article on the Donald, and then hold down the home button. Now on Tap brings up links to related stories about Trump's biography, Trump Tower and the Trump Organization.

Finally, Now on Tap can search for information via bar codes and QR codes. Just aim your Android device's camera at one of those codes, tap the Home button, and up pops information related to that item, an option that could come in handy the next time you're shopping. The feature works with "packaged products, books, DVDs and more," Google said in its blog post.

Now on Tap requires Android 6.0 and your language set to English, Japanese, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Korean, Portuguese, or Russian.