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Updated Google Translate for Android reads text from photos, adds dialect preferences

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Version 2.5 of Google Translate for Android adds several new features, including the ability to take a picture and trace over words on it to translate them.

Google Translate Picture
Google Translate Picture

The latest version of Google Translate for Android should make it easier to read road or shop signs. Users running Android 2.3 and up with a rear-facing camera can now take a picture of text, then trace over the words to have them translated. It worked pretty well for us, and although other apps already have similar features, it's nice to see this come to the official Google Translate app. Besides that, the update to 2.5 also adds instant translation results while you type — much like Translate on the web — and the Japanese handwriting system recognizes multiple characters at once.

On the speech translation side, there's a new option to specify dialect in several languages, including English, Chinese, and Arabic. It can also check what kind of network is available when sending translation requests in order to manage data usage. This isn't quite the interface overhaul we saw last time, but the new features are much appreciated.