Google Translate is rolling out a trio of updates that add context, modernize the iOS app, and improve camera translations.

Since words and phrases can have multiple meanings, Google Translate is adding “descriptions and varying examples in the intended, translated language.” Besides definitions in the original language, you’ll now see translated example sentences.

So whether you’re trying to order bass for dinner, or play a bass during tonight’s jam session, you have the context you need to accurately translate and use the right turns of phrase, local idioms, or appropriate words depending on your intent…

English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish will be supported when this initially rolls out over the coming weeks. More languages will be supported in the next few months.

Following the Android revamp in October of 2021, Google Translate for iOS is getting the same Material You redesign in a “few weeks.” This new look cleans up and greatly modernizes the UI. It makes use of various gestures to quickly switch languages and navigate through the app.

For example, translation history is now hidden and can be accessed by swiping down on the main text field. You can also set previously selected languages by long-pressing on the current one and swiping. 

Translations in the app also make use of a “dynamic font that automatically adjusts as text is typed.” 

Recently, Google Lens replaced Translate’s native camera. AR Translate, which uses the Pixel’s Magic Eraser technology to delete text in the original language and overlay the translated version while matching the original style, is now beginning to roll out. 

Google’s new AR Translate approach better preserves context, with the previous version just covering up the original text with color-matching blocks and then adding text over it.

In the year ahead, Google says it will “experiment with AI-led experiences in Translate to give you faster, more accurate and dynamic translations in the app.”

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: