Two important Google apps are in the process of receiving updates, with rollouts going out now to Google Drive and Google Translate.
According to a Google Plus post from the development team, Drive gained a few features that were previously only available in the Web version of Google Docs. The biggest update is the addition of “find and replace”, but mobile users will also benefit from the ability to insert tables and use named styles. Other changes involve the ability to rename scanned documents before uploading them, as well as a new two-column layout for viewing docs on tablets. We also spotted a few minor changes to the user interface, which feels sleeker and faster. The Google Drive (Play Store link) update will be rolling out to users over the next days.
As for Google Translate, the most interesting addition is a new, gesture-based translation method that should really make life easier for those travelling abroad. The idea is simple: press the microphone button, say something in your own language, and pass the phone to the person you talk to, who will be shown the translation. The app leverages the phone’s sensors to detect when the phone is passed back and forth, making it easy, in theory, to carry a semi-fluent conversation.
The Translate app (Play Store link) also received a UI revamp (as you can see from the image above, is lighter and cleaner) and gained support for more languages. You can now hand write text in Hebrew, Greek, Javanese, and Esperanto, and obtain translations on the fly, while the camera scanning feature now recognizes and translates text written in Ukrainian and Malay.