Google Translate for Android has a new version 2.5 this morning with the ability to translate parts of images using your phone’s rear-facing camera. This feature can be used by tapping the camera icon, tapping the screen to take a picture, then highlighting what you want to translate, reports Android Central. You’ll need at least Android 2.3 Gingerbread to use image translation.
With Google Translate you can:
- Translate text between 64 languages
- Translate by speaking the text instead of typing it (17 languages)
- Use camera to take a picture and brush text to translate (available on Android 2.3 and above).
- Listen to your translations spoken aloud (40 languages)
- Communicate with another person using speech-to-speech translation in Conversation Mode (ALPHA, 14 languages)
- Display translations in full screen mode to make it easier for others nearby to read
- Star your favorite translations for quick access even when you’re offline
It’s not quite as easy to use as Word Lens, which provides real-time text translations as soon as you point your camera at printed text. But Google Translate supports many more languages than Word Lens, and it is $4.99.
Google Translate is free. It doesn’t work with all of the 64 languages in Google Translate, but initially handles Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Russian. Its camera feature first appeared in Google Goggles, but it now allows users to highlight which text they want to translate. It’s functions are not unlike Word Lens on the iPhone ($4.99), which gives you translation on the go with NO NETWORK required – results appear immediately on your screen.