Microsoft – Translator App for Android Now Translates Words in Photos

The Google Translate app has been able to translate text found in photos for quite a while and just recently Microsoft had updated their Translator app for the Android mobile platform to that as well. Users are able to take photos with an Android device’s back camera, or select a photo from the device’s local or cloud storage, to get a quick translation of the text located in said image.

Microsoft - Translator App for Android Now Translates Words in Photos

Microsoft Translator Finally Lets Users Translate Text Found in Photos

Microsoft says that it’s all about the convenience. “With the new image translation feature in the Translator app for Android, you no longer need to type text or say foreign language phrases out loud when you see them written on signs, menus, flyers…whatever,” the developing team wrote in a recent blog post. “Instead you can translate pictures instantly from your phone, with the translation appearing in an overlay above the existing text.”

For iOS device owners, you already have this particular feature for the Microsoft Translator app  as it already rolled out to the Apple operating system back in February. But the question is, does it have a competitive approach when compared to Google Translate?

In July of last year, Google Translate launched an update that Microsoft had trouble in replicating, which was holding up your camera to see text translated instantly. From there, using the search engine’s translate app can also iteratively translate the text into other languages, or you can copy it to your device’s clipboard, share it, or blow the image up in large type so that it would be easier to read. These are the things that you could not do in Microsoft Translator.

The recent update came after two weeks after the tech giant enhanced their own Translator app for iOS and delivered offline support. As for the new capability for the Android version of the app, it only works with simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Danish, Czech, Dutch, English, French, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, Danish, Finnish, German, Italian, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Swedish. There are now more language packs available for offline translation as well, which relies on a type of AI called deep learning.

For the recent update for the Translator app of Microsoft, it lets devices with Android Marshmallow or Android N to translate text found in any app, and without the need for switching apps. “If you find a foreign language phrase you need translated, just highlight it and open up your ‘Other Options’ (the three dots after Cut, Copy, and Share). From the list, choose ‘Translator’ and you’ll be able to translate into any of the 50+ languages supported by Microsoft Translator,” the developers explained. Google Translate app can also do something similar.


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