The Google Translate Android app just got a heck of a lot more useful, updating today to version 2.5. What makes the update so compelling? With the latest update you can snap a picture and then highlight the text with your finger text, and just like that you can get an instant translation on any Android device running version Android 2.3 or higher.
While a cool idea, this might not be that big of news to those that are already making use of Word Lens, which launched for Android not too long ago. What’s the big difference between the two different translation techniques? With Word Lens you get augmented reality translations from your camera that take place within seconds, instead of Google Translate’s lengthier method that involves taking a picture, rubbing the text, and then finally getting your translation. The biggest redeeming factor of Google Translate though is its price tag of “free”, versus $5 per language pack with Word Lens.
Outside of the new picture-translate feature, new features include instant result translation while typing, multiple character support for Japanese handwriting and the ability to select a dialect preference for speech input.
The Google Translate app is available now on Google Play.