If you travel, you’re probably already familiar with Google Translate, an app that can come in very handy when you’re abroad. Type “That’s not my monkey,” into the app, select the language you need, and you just might get through customs after all. Google
updated its app yesterday with a new feature that makes it even easier to translate your way out of (or into) trouble: handwriting recognition.
Why does handwriting recognition matter if you’re already comfortable typing on your smartphone or tablet? Because you may find yourself needing to translate a language for which it would be easier for you to write by hand. (Restaurant menus come to mind.) The update also improves the interface, adds some new languages (Bosnian, Cebuano, Hmong, Javanese, Khmer, Lao, and Marathi) and readies the iPhone
apps for iOS 7
, which is available now.
For all the possible important uses of the updated Google Translate, the one we’re looking forward to the most is using the app to decipher people’s supposedly profound tattoos. Time to find out if that symbol really means “Serenity.” Tattoo artists, look out.