New Version of Free Google Translate Lets You Translate Using Camera

On Wednesday Google released a new version of Google Translate (free) in the App Store that has some great new features. Most importantly, it now includes Word Lens: you can point your camera at some text in a foreign language, and the translated text will instantly overlay the image on your screen. You don't even need an Internet connection. According to the announcement on the Official Google Blog, the translation works between English and French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, with more languages to be added.

Also now available on iOS devices is a new feature in conversation mode: you can carry on a conversation with someone who speaks another language, and Google Translate will automatically recognize which language is being spoken. The demo video below shows how it works:

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As you speak, your words automatically appear on the display the target language you've selected. Then as the other person speaks, his or her words appear on the display in English. What's nice about this new feature is that you don't have to indicate each time who's speaking. This automatic language detection in conversation mode allows you to have a more fluid conversation with someone who speaks another language.

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Jim Karpen's picture

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.