Google is rolling out a significant update to the camera feature on its Translate app. The new version of the app adds support for 60 new languages; makes the translated text less jumpy on users’ screens and updates the underlying translation models, in some cases reducing errors in the final translations by as much as 85 percent.
Google demoed its latest iteration of Google Lens at Google I/O earlier this year, it highlighted its ability to recognize food in restaurant menus and even pull recommendations and reviews from the web. The more interesting improvement, however, was in the live translation department with text auto-detect.
Google is now bringing that same functionality to the Translate app along with a simplified UI and more languages. Google says the update should go live for one percent of users, but everyone will have it in the coming weeks. The interface now has a bottom bar with three modes: Instant, Scan and Import.
If you selected ‘Detect language’ as the source language, Instant allows you to point your camera at text and have the app recognize the language and translate. This should prove particularly useful if you travel to places where multiple languages are commonly used and have difficulty with restaurant menus and road signs.
New languages supported in the update include: Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Estonian, Greek, Hindi, Igbo, Javanese, Kurdish, Latin, Latvian, Malay, Mongolian, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Samoan, Sesotho, Slovenian, Swahili, Thai, Vietnamese, Welsh, Xhosa, Yoruba, and Zulu. The full list of 88 languages now supported can be seen here.
The updated version of the app will also automatically detect what language it’s looking at, which is handy if you’re traveling in a region where multiple languages are common.
Google says the update will be available to 1 percent of users today, with a full rollout coming over the next few weeks.