Google Translate on mobile just got way smarter

Google just made its translation app a whole lot smarter.

Thanks to a new update, announced Wednesday, you can now use Google Translate within other apps on Android phones. When you copy text in a foreign language it will automatically bring a little pop-up that lets you translate it on the fly as well as translate responses, all without exiting the original app.

Previously, using translate on mobile was a bit of an arduous process. You would have to leave the app to translate each individual piece of text — which isn’t particularly handy for real-time messaging.

The new feature is being called Tap to Translate. Here’s a GIF showing how it works — and scroll down for a longer video demonstration.

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Alongside Tap to Translate, Google is also bringing its offline language packs to iOS — meaning if you download some files in advance, you can translate things on your iPhone even without an internet connection.

The search giant is also now supporting Chinese for Word Lens — a neat Google Translate feature that automatically translates real-world written text.

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The updates should be hitting phones in “the next few days,” Google says.

Here’s a longer video demonstration of Tap to Translate in action:

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