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Google Translate adds Tap to Translate chathead on Android, iOS gains offline mode


Google Translate is getting a bevy of new features today that will make translating on mobile easier. Android gets a new feature that will get rid of the need to manually copy and paste into the Translate app, while iOS finally gets an offline mode. Additionally, the Word Lens instant visual translation feature now works on both Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

When users highlight and copy text to the clipboard, a Tap to Translate chathead will pop-up. Tapping it will bring up a small box that translates the text and the option to hear the phrase or change the language. A “New Translation” button will let users type out a new phrase and quickly copy the translated text all while still in the pop-up.

Tap to Translate works in any app and works offline — as long as the appropriate language package has been downloaded ahead of time. On that note, the iOS Google Translate app will now be able to download 52 languages for offline translation. Google recently shrunk down the packages by 90 percent to a much smaller 25MB each.

The Word Lens feature on iOS and Android has also been updated to support instant visual translation of Chinese. Users will be able to translate text on menus, signs, and more in Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

The iOS update is rolling out now, while the Android version is being rolled out in the next few days.

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