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Google is stepping up the in-app experience game. With the new Google Translate update, Android users no longer have to switch between apps to translate text – everything can be done within any app. This feature is called “Tap to Translate” and it can be enabled on the Google Translate settings page.

Previously, to be able to translate any text, you’d have to first go to the Translate app, type in the text you want to translate, copy the result, and then paste on whatever platform you want to use it on. Now, imagine how cumbersome this was for people who had to carry out entire conversations in foreign languages. Not only were they supposed to copy and paste their messages, they had to copy, paste and translate the responses.

Talking about the update, Google Product Lead, Barak Turovsky wrote on the Google translate blog, “We know millions of you painstakingly copy-paste text between Google Translate and other apps. Now, you can just copy the text of a chat, comment, song lyric, etc. in whichever app you’re using, and a translation will pop up right there—no need to switch apps”

Here’s a visual representation of how it works:

google translates

This new feature cuts down the time (not to mention, stress) involved in switching between apps. There’s also an offline translation option where you can translate text to/from other languages without needing internet access. For this, you’d have to download the offline package for the language you want. Unfortunately, there are no packages for any Nigerian language, but that’s not to say Google isn’t working on one.

The new Google Translate update also has a “Word Lens in Chinese” feature, making Chinese the 29th language that can be used for instant visual translation. This feature allows users translate signs, menus or labels by opening the app and holding their phone cameras to the text. Pretty nifty, if you ask me.


World Lens in Chinese translates to and from English for both Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

It’s obvious Google is big on improving user experience. Last week, they released their new (pretty badass) keyboard for iOS users. Like Osarumen said, it’s keyboard on steroids. I mean, you can use Google Search and send GIFs without having to leave the app you’re on – because it’s all on the keyboard. This new Google Translate update definitely shows Google knows its stuff when it comes to making users’ lives easier.

Tola Agunbiade Author

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