Google is expanding their Google Translate app to take on more of the world’s real-time issues that face those who are traveling in a foreign country, or are looking to translate content in a conversation. Two major additions – that the most recent update will bring to the table – are World Lens, as well as real-time interpretation – to be used during conversations, and to read things like text sent by those during conversations. While many are still trying to catch up in this space, companies like Microsoft and Google are both racing to the finish line to see who will come out ahead.

Ultimately, what Google is working to create within their Google Translate app is to create a more easily accessible platform that can be used for simpler tasks. For example, Google is said to be ensuring that the loading time, between each interpretation is as short and smooth as possible. To prove this point, Google Translate’s product lead Barak Turovsky said in a blog post that “When talking with someone in an unfamiliar language, conversations can… get… realllllllly… sloowwww.” That problem though is something that anyone on a personal level, or business level has experienced at one time or another. In fact, to make the real-time product even better Google introduced the second key feature within the updated app.

Google Translate Real-Time Interpretation Tour

The second feature that will really go a long way to help Google’s real-time cause is the addition of a feature that will translate street signs. That means users will simply have to shoot a picture, or hold up the camera on their device to the street sign, and Google Translate will do the rest of the work. Some of the other interesting features is the intriguing one that will allow users to continue conversations quickly without having to negotiate a microphone button constantly. Instead, the app will be listening while engaged in a conversation – and users will have quick, real-time communication – in any number of translated languages to choose from.

The street sign feature is one that is only possible, thanks to the acquisition of Quest Visual’s World Lens app – that was originally acquired to make features like the street sign reading feature inside Google Translate possible.