APP WATCH: Google Translate for Android updated

The original Google Translate for Android app is about a year old, so well in need of an upgrade. That update has just landed, with several interesting new features, one of which is 'conversation'.

The main selling points are still here though, easy translating of text, voice translations via your phone and the option to translate SMS messages from foreign friends and contacts. But the new version now adds better dropdown boxes to help you select the languages you want to translate from/to, an improved input box and generally a cleaner layout.

Oh yes, that Conversation Mode too. Currently only operating between English and Spanish languages, you simply press the microphone and start speaking. Google Translate will then do the hard work, reading the translation out loud. Just think how useful that will be in a Spanish restaurant / bar / jail this summer, especially as the other party can do exactly the same in reverse.

It's not perfect though. Indeed, it's still in its early stages. So regional accents, background noise or rapid speech could cause problems. You might want to take that into account if your conversation is important to your business or wellbeing. But give it a try if it's not a life or death matter, it's likely to be a lot of fun.

As before, the basic app functionality supports 53 languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish, and has voice input for 15 languages. Grab it now in the Android Market for free.

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