Google Translate for Android Gets Handwriting Recognition

Here is a small but nifty update for Google Translate for Android: the app now features experimental handwriting recognition for Chinese and Japanese characters. You can also enable this feature for English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, though it’s likely going to be more useful for trying to figure out the meaning of that Japanese written in Kanji than to translate a Spanish word.

In this new version of the app, a new handwriting icon will now appear next to the already familiar microphone that activates the speech recognition feature in the app. As Google notes, speech recognition can often come in handy, but “sometimes you don’t know how to say what you want translated, sometimes you can’t type it, and sometimes it’s easier just to write it.”

The Google Translate team also notes that all of the actual handwriting recognition happens in the cloud. Thanks to this, Google can continually learn from your inputs and tweak its algorithms without having to update the app itself.

To give it a try, just download the tool from the Android Market here. It’s not clear when (or if) Google plans to bring this feature to the iOS version of Google Translate.

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About the author

Frederic Lardinois has written 851 articles for SiliconFilter

Frederic Lardinois founded SiliconFilter in 2011. Before starting this site, he wrote about 1,500 articles for ReadWriteWeb. His areas of interest are consumer web and mobile apps, as well as Internet-connected devices like cars, smart sensors and toasters. You can reach him at [email protected]


Comments

8 Responses to "Google Translate for Android Gets Handwriting Recognition"
  1. Reply Google Translate for Android Gets Handwriting Recognition … | pimproid.com January 5, 2012 09:45 am

    […] the article here: Google Translate for Android Gets Handwriting Recognition … This entry was posted in News and tagged chinese, nifty-update, now-features, the-app, translate […]

  2. Reply Sar_Z January 5, 2012 15:33 pm

    @Techmeme Just got the update on my Galaxy SII and tested it for english…recognition is pretty slow…it’s much faster to type…

  3. Reply LisaBerwin January 5, 2012 15:38 pm

    @andre_rickerby bet they can’t translate mine!

    • Reply andre_rickerby January 5, 2012 15:39 pm

      @LisaBerwin nope, that is a task even beyond Google 🙂

  4. Reply Mark DeLoura January 5, 2012 18:29 pm

    Japanese handwriting recognition seems to work pretty well… nice feature add!

  5. Reply Aktuelles 6. Januar 2012 January 6, 2012 06:12 am

    […] Google Translate for Android Gets Handwriting Recognition | SiliconFilter "In this new version of the app, a new handwriting icon will now appear next to the already familiar microphone that activates the speech recognition feature in the app." […]

  6. Reply windows_7_phone January 9, 2012 03:39 am

    Thanks for the review! <a href=”http://clawdigital.com/android-app-development/”>Android apps development</a>.I agree with you regarding the limitations of the built-in tools when it comes to time tracking. If you’re finding that OmniFocus is more complex than you need you might give Things a try. Things is my task manager of choice and I find it’s a joy to use. There’s plenty of functionality under the hood (including repeating tasks), and it never seems to get in the way.Nice Post. Thanks for your sharing.

  7. Reply business tips June 11, 2012 15:26 pm

    Given Google Translate’s reputation, I bet this one also gives inaccurate translations. They should first improve Google Translate’s performance before going into other ventures.

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