According to The New York Times, Google isn’t going to let Skype runaway with all the high-tech, language barrier-smashing fun. An upcoming update will allow the app to auto-recognise popular languages and translate them into text in real time.
In addition, Google Translate will also let you take snapshots of signs or menus or whatever, and also translate onscreen. This is probably the product of Google’s acquisition of the way cool Wordlens app. Our review of Skype Translator boiled down to a “close, but no cigar” analysis. But it’s a start, and with two huge companies entering in a positive game of one-upmanship, we’ll hopefully get closer to that Babel fish future rather than just one service trying to innovate in a vacuum.
Google Translate isn’t the only application whose updates are circling the rumour mill. Android Police reports that Google Now code is spilling a bunch of potential features, such as spoken notifications for when you’re driving. The code also reveals that Google is toying with the idea of allowing third-party apps to have their own cards in Google Now, so you could certain Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (etc.) alerts right in your Google Now stream.
I love Google Now and is easily one of my favourite features on Android, so I welcome any attempt to make it more convenient. But if it does happen, hopefully third-party apps will keep it simple and not turn this much beloved feature into another flooded RSS feed. [The New York Times and Android Police]