Almost a year after Google Assistant first adopted an Interpreter mode for the home, the feature is finally arriving on mobile. That’s according to recent reports citing word from Google itself that the mode is arriving.
For clarity, Interpreter mode is a real-time translator that works conversationally. So, once in use, users will be able to both read and hear translations of what somebody is saying to them in another language. They’ll also be able to talk back or tap Smart Replies and type responses.
Google Assistant will read everything aloud in the appropriate language. Users don’t have to struggle with foreign pronunciations and grammatical nuances. For now, there’s a long list of languages available totaling in at 44. Obvious inclusions are German, French, and similarly common languages. But Google has included some that are less commonly considered for much of the world too.
For instance, the new Interpreter mode for mobile can help users speak Thai or other common but less widely used languages.
How can you use the new Translator Mode?
Taking advantage of the AI-driven new features in Google Assistant is a snap. In fact, it takes only a few words following the usual “Okay” or “Hey Google” wake words to get things rolling forward. The key phrases are simple as well. So the entire process and applet should be very intuitive to use rather than requiring verbal gymnastics to accomplish.
For instance, users can say “Hey Google, help me speak Spanish.” That phrase will, as is implied, kick on Interpreter mode for the Spanish language. “Okay Google, be my Thai translator” would work equally well.
From there, Google’s Interpreter mode works as expected. Spoken words are translated on-screen and spoken aloud. Smart Replies appear to choose from and, of course, a keyboard icon is present to type a response. Spoken responses are caught too and read aloud in the alternate language.
Which devices can use Google Assistant Interpreter mode?
Google doesn’t seem to have provided much detail regarding exactly which mobile devices will be able to use the new Assistant AI-powered Interpreter mode. It does, however, say that it is coming to both iOS and Android. The mode will arrive via an update. That’ll be found specifically for the Google Assistant application from either the App Store or the Google Play Store.
That means that although it’s rolling out now, it could take some time before it hits every device out there. Rollouts typically take up to a few weeks to be completed.
The mode was previously available on smart home speakers. That meant users could access a translator but only in the comfort of their own household. While useful, this is a long-sought-after feature that will undoubtedly find much more use on phones than it does on a home speaker or hub. That’s because it can now be taken with users as they travel.
To check for the update, users simply need to go to the Google Play Store — or iOS app market — and download the latest version of the app. The rollout has started as of today.