Google Lens has been seamlessly integrated into Google’s Android and many other smartphones since it was first introduced in 2017. And perhaps one of the most useful capabilities of it is the ability to translate text off pictures and screenshots. While the Google Translate app has offered this feature for a long time, Google Lens adds that capability to your camera app and makes the feature accessible from any part of the UI. But it doesn’t just allow you to translate pictures, as you can translate screenshots, or parts of a screenshot, as well. And the screenshot UI on Google Pixel phones now makes this even easier.
Now, when taking a screenshot, if the phone detects your screenshot has text written in a foreign language, the bottom UI will give you a “translate” button alongside “share” and “edit”. It will then automatically detect the text and translate it to English for you. From there, it will allow you to either copy the translated text or download the foreign language to allow offline translation.
Having this feature is pretty useful. If you’re reading something in another language and want to quickly translate it without actually copying the text and moving it to the Google Translate app (or even if the text is written in an image and not copyable), this feature allows you to just take a screenshot, tap translate, and you’re good to go in seconds. Images that do not have any writing will not have the button pop-up, as Google Lens looks for the text before offering to translate it. Of course, it’s also not perfect just yet, as 9to5Google reports that the button sometimes pops up when the screenshot displays English text.
This feature seems to be already rolling out to Pixel users running stable Android 11, but if you don’t have it yet, it may take some time to reach your device. The feature seems to be tied to a server-side flag in Device Personalization Services.
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