Sponsored App Review: Extension for Google Translate

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Extension for Google Translate is an app that aims to fill in the gaps left by Google's translation app. Extension for Google Translate is an app that harnesses the power of Google Translate, but allows people to translate text found inside of apps that don't support native text selection. Being able to translate from any app within Android 6.0 Marshmallow or above is great, but apps that don't allow for native text selection need something like this to enable translation. This is an accessibility app that uses Android's built-in feature of being to "see" what's onscreen and allows words or blocks of text to be clicked on in apps and games without needing to select the text natively. Free to download and easy to use, this is the sort of app that has a lot going for it, and is well worth checking out, so let's take a closer look.

As with most other Android apps, this needs to be downloaded from the Play Store but after that, it also needs to be turned on in your accessibility settings.

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The Extension for Google Translate app has its own menu within the accessibility settings, which makes it nice and easy to get everything set up, including a little note from the developers.

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Once you have addressed this – and have Google Translate installed, of course – you can go ahead and start using Extension for Google Translate. Which is neatly explained by promo material for the app. To use the app, users just need to tap the tab which is found at the edge of your display and then just choose a block of text on screen.

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In my testing, I used the Microsoft Health app as an example of how this can be useful. I went ahead and chose items of text like "calories burned", and sure enough it went ahead and translated it for me.

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I was impressed at the overall speed of the app as well as how easy it is to use. Those familiar with Google Translate have very little extra to learn, and this is something that a lot of people will enjoy. You can easily choose a different language to translate to, while the original language is automatically detected.

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That's all there is to using the app in practice, it's very easy to use and it works really well, there's no denying that. There are also some settings available these are however, confusingly accessed from the Accessibility settings not from choosing the app's logo from your home screen or app drawer.

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These options includes the ability to make changes to the way the app selects text, which can change the behavior of the app and how you use it. For instance, a single text block method is great for individual words or phrases, and the other is better for longer pieces of text.

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There's also a pretty great option that allows users to have Extension for Google Translate auto-start alongside other applications, which is actually a really neat feature.

While there's definitely no getting away from the fact that this is a fairly simple app, it's one that draws on its simplicity as its strength. There are plenty of apps or games out there that don't offer up languages outside of English or the language they were built in, and this helps to fill in the gaps really handily. Google Translate cannot pickup text that isn't rendered as text, so that leaves apps and games out of the running, but Extension for Google Translate gets around this problem, and makes it super-easy to select and translate text from within any app or game. This has all kinds of uses, it will be great for people using a device in English that aren't 100% fluent, but want to learn through their everyday activities, it can be great for developers troubleshooting their translations and it could even be handy for gamers playing games in foreign languages and such.

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Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – The app runs nice and smoothly, and translations are done almost instantly, which is a nice touch for those in a hurry.
  • Features (4/5) – It might seem like a simple app, but Extension for Google Translate has so many different uses that it'd be silly to not try it out and see how it fits into your daily life, whatever that might entail.
  • Theme (4/5) – The app works well and has a good interface, but the settings need to be moved and the icon tab could do with being better-looking as well.
  • Overall (4/5) – A great little app that has a lot to offer users and can open many more doors that Google or other app developers simply can;t offer up, this is the sort of app that Google should have made years ago.

Pros

  • Works in any app or game, regardless of where it's downloaded from or whatever, it just works.
  • Easy way to change language with the original language being auto-detected.
  • Gives users the option of selecting single blocks of text or multiple blocks for longer translations.
  • Doesn't need an in-depth instruction manual or anything like that, it all comes together nice and simply and is easy to use.

Cons

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  • Settings for the app are in a confusing place, leaving the app icon to essentially do nothing.
  • Could do with a better-looking icon for the tab that sticks out from the side, but it can be easily hidden whenever users would want.

Overall, Extension for Google Translate is the sort of app that Google should have made years ago, and it's certainly something worth taking a look at. For users all over the world, this is an app that can make using apps in English or any other non-native language to your own really easy and it can also be a great teaching tool as well as whatever else you can imagine for the app.

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Former Editor-in-Chief

For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.

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