The feature resembles what Chrome has had for desktop for over a year, but could make translation seamless
Google Translate is now fully integrated into Gboard, thanks to a new update to the company’s recently released mobile keypad.
The keyboard, still in beta testing, now features a Translate button that will pop up a box on screen featuring a translation of what you type as you write it. Gboard is closed to beta testers, as the app’s Google Play page says they have more than enough at this point.
Google already has a right click option for Chrome users to click through to a separate Google Translate window with an interpretation of a highlighted text. There’s also a plugin through Chrome that will automatically display a translation when text is highlighted (though this function only seems to work for up to two or maybe three lines of text).
Of course, a feature like this update might get a little distracting as the translation reformulates, but should be pretty satisfying once the sentence is finished.
Such a feature might be a Godsend for people operating in a second language. A similar feature would likely be welcome with apps like Tandem, that pairs native and new speakers to chat together. There was no indication an API might be available for app developers, at least not yet.
Gboard also gets some new auto-correct suggestions support for Bashkir and a new set of skins via updates to its theme selector.
Translate has become one of Google’s most important functions. Although it is free, it has served as a window into the advanced neural network and machine translation research Google has conducted over the last several years. It now offers over 100 languages and at least 30 of them (including Japanese) in instant visual translations for street signs via mobile cameras.