Google has updated its Google Translate app for Android with an overhaul of the user interface and the introduction of a conversation mode.
The new conversation feature is activated by tapping the microphone icon and recording a word or phrase for translation. The app then translates the phrase and reads it back out loud — providing you have the text-to-speech (eSpeak for Android) engine installed.
Image credit: Google
Currently the new feature is in alpha stage, meaning that it only supports translation from English to Spanish and still struggles with excessive background noise, regional accents or rapid speech, the company wrote on the Google Mobile blog on Wednesday.
Alongside the conversation translation mode, the update also brings redesigned icons and layout tweaks, as well as easier to use dropdown menus and text input boxes, the company says.
Currently, the Android Translate app (excluding the conversation feature) supports 53 languages and voice input for 15. Users need Android 2.1 or above to use the app, which is available for free on the Android Market.