Google Translate is already pretty amazing. Aside from supporting 90 language, the service also lets users take pictures of signs in other languages and get those translated almost instantly. However, one of the challenges for users has been having to copy and paste text into the service’s apps or web version. That’s set to change. The latest version of Google’s mobile operating system Android (version 6.0, called Marshmallow) will now let Android users translate text in apps.
Some of the first apps to get on board are TripAdvisor, LinkedIn and the big cheese of mobile instant messaging, WhatsApp.
Google announced the update on the Google Translate blog and says the new functionality should “make translating text, chats, and other app content a whole lot easier”.
You’ll still need to have the Translate app on your phone to use the new feature. Once you have it installed, when you highlight text in a supported app you’ll get the option to “translate” in addition to existing options like “copy” or share. This means it’s not only possible to translate text already in an app — like a TripAdvisor review — but also text you input, like a WhatsApp message to a friend.
Developers who want to add the feature to their Android apps can follow the steps outlined over here. Google says more than 500 million people translate over 100 billion words a day on Google Translate.
The new version of Android — first unveiled at Google’s I/O event in May this year — is expected to hit most big-name Android phone brands before the end of the year, and is set to show up on the LG G4 first. That must’ve cost LG a pretty penny, but given how hard it’s been pushing the (excellent) G4 it’s a pretty savvy marketing move.