Thursday, March 9, 2017
Google’s Gboard keyboard will translate text into another language as you type
Google is bringing a suite of new features to the Android version of its Gboard keyboard, including a Google Translate integration that will translate any text you type into a desired language in real time. This feature expands upon the company’s Now on Tap translation integration from last year that lets users hold down the home button to translate any screen of foreign text.
Now, instead of typing out a message and translating it after the fact with Now on Tap, or inputting text into Google’s dedicated Translate app, Gboard will do it automatically for you once you tap the Translate icon. The Translate box from the quick start menu also supports pasted text, so you copy any text sent back to you to have it translated back into your native tongue.
This presents all sorts of opportunities for near-instant cross-lingual communication — or just trolling your friend by seamlessly switching to a language neither of you understand. Either way, it sounds like it could be a hugely beneficial new feature for what is already one of the best custom keyboards on mobile. (It’s unclear whether this feature will work for every one of the more than 100 languages Google Translate supports in one fashion or another.)
Beyond the Google Translate support, Gboard is also getting an improved voice typing feature that makes it easier to switch between speaking and typing modes, new background themes, and automatic emoji and GIF suggestions that pop up as you type. Google says it now supports sharing GIFs into third-party messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Snapchats, as well as its own Allo and Hangouts offerings.