Google has pushed out a new update for its Translate app, enabling support for translating text in images. This is especially useful when you’re in a foreign country, since it makes it easy to translate street signs and the like. To use the new feature, simply take a photo and use your finger to “brush” the text. This will trigger the translation software.
Windows Phone, believe it or not, has had text image translation built into the OS itself for more than a year. To access it, press the Bing button, tap the eye for Bing Vision, and select “scan text.” It will then automatically detect the text in the image and provide a translation directly on top of the original. I happen to prefer this method, but Google Translate works quite well too.
Google Translate v2.5 also includes a few other improvements like instant translations as you type, speech input dialect preferences, and improved Japanese handwriting recognition. The free app is available now for Android 2.1 devices and up, but you’ll need to have at least Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” in order to take advantage of this update’s marquee feature.