A decade after Google Translate first launched, Google continues to expand the functionality of Translate by rolling out new updates for iOS and Android.

Tap to Translate is a new feature released by Google for Android. It allows users to translate text simply by highlighting it. Once the text is selected, a Translate icon will appear at the top right corner of the display screen.

By tapping the icon, users can read the translation from a foreign language into a first language or vice versa. Tap to Translate will no longer require users to copy-paste text between Translate and other apps. Google indicates that it should work in any app, chat or messenger apps and browser.

Additionally, Google says that Tap to Translate lets users translate in all 103 supported languages and can also be accessed offline. The offline translation feature has also been added to Google Translate for iOS. Since each offline language only requires 25 MB of space, Apple users can still translate text in 52 languages even without Internet connection. The offline mode can be easily set up by tapping the arrow next to the language users wish to download.

Google is also launching translation support for simplified and traditional Chinese through its Word Lens app. Available in both Android and iOS, Word Lens allows users to take a photo of a printed text and see an "augmented translation," which appears on top of the image.

"Try it on menus, signs, packages, and other printed text. As with all Word Lens languages, it works offline," Google says in a blog post.

This feature, however, is still a work in progress. Google was reportedly looking into neural networking technology to improve the translation features of the app.

Neural networks are structured similarly to how the human brain processes information to make decisions. It features decision and result nodes, which allows the neural network to creatively construct paths from actions, expected outcomes and final results.

According to Jeff Dean, part of the Google Brain team, the Google Translate app may see an update in the future that increases its use of neural networks.

For now, the Google Translate represents one of the most advanced portable translation applications available. It is exciting what future developments can do for the platform.

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