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This article was published on July 7, 2016


Google’s Now on Tap can translate any text on your Android screen

Google’s Now on Tap can translate any text on your Android screen
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
Story by

Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

Google sure took its own sweet time bringing its Now on Tap feature to Android Marshmallow, which surfaces contextual information based on the contents of your screen when you long-press the home button. But now that it’s out, the search giant is constantly adding functionality to make it worth using.

A handy new addition is the ability to translate any on-screen text, whether you’re using an app, reading a PDF or browsing a site. Google says this works with English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian; the feature can also tackle multiple languages at once.

Plus, there’s now a new ‘Discover’ mode in the Now on Tap menu. It brings up a stream of content like YouTube videos and articles about whatever’s on your screen.

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Google has also updated Now on Tap’s visual search capability. In addition to recognizing landmarks using your camera’s viewfinder to bring up relevant info, it can now look up barcodes and QR codes that you point your phone at and retrieve user reviews for those products instantly.

This update certainly makes Now on Tap a lot more useful. However, I found that I had better luck scanning QR codes than barcodes using the camera search function; it’s possible that products in India aren’t yet supported.

We’ve contacted Google to learn more and will update this post if there’s a response.

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