Google Translate just got even more impressive. In the latest update, the app gains the ability to easily translate text in any app, offline access for iOS, and support for Chinese in Word Lens.

The big new feature is Tap to Translate. When enabled, every time you copy a string of text a small button will appear on top of the current app, much like Facebook’s Messenger bubble. Tap on the bubble and voila, the text you copied, be it Hindi, Swahili or Romanian, is instantly translated in a popover window.

The quick window lets you hear how the text sounds in the native language, but also type and translate text so you can reply to your foreign colleague or friend instantly.


The idea here is to remove that annoying friction that occurs when you have to copy and paste text to and from Translate. The feature supports all 103 Translate languages, but the best thing about Tap to Translate is that it works with any app, even when offline.

As mentioned, today brings offline mode to iOS users, a feature that has been present on Android for a while. Visitors to China will be happy to hear that Word Lens, which replaces text from images on the fly, has now gained support for simplified and traditional Chinese.