'Hello' morphs into 'hola' as Chrome mobile browser adds new translator feature
Chrome for Android is one step closer to turning your smartphone into a Star Trek-style universal communicator.
The search giant recently updated its mobile browser for Android devices running version 4.0 and up with a one-click option to translate Web pages in foreign languages. (Google has offered a translation feature on the desktop version of Chrome since 2010.)
Just like its desktop counterpart, when you land on a web page that is not in your native language, a pop-up bar will appear offering to translate the page. The pop-up appears at the bottom of the display on smartphones; at the top on tablets.
The new translation feature on Android also has the ability to tell Chrome to never translate specific languages or specific foreign language sites. This is a handy feature for anyone studying or able to speak a second (or third) language.
If you don’t want Chrome to translate French, for example, the option to never translate the language appears after the second time you refuse translation of a French-language site. Unfortunately, your translation preferences don’t appear to sync with your Google account, so you will have to adjust this setting on each of your Android devices.
Other improvements in mobile Chrome
Google has, in recent months, been steadily improving the mobile version of Chrome to better adapt the browser for mobile devices. It also has been bringing over features from the desktop.
In May, Google added a full-screen view for smartphones. Once you start scrolling down a web page, the address bar disappears, which gives you more viewing space. You can make the address bar reappear with a quick scroll upwards. Full-screen views are currently being tested by Google for tablets running the Chrome for Android beta.
Chrome for tablets recently received a tab history feature similar to the desktop. If you long press on a tab’s back button on your Android slate, a drop-down menu of the tab’s recent history appears.
In April, Google added password and autofill sync to Chrome for Android.
The latest version of Chrome for Android is rolling out now, so you may not have the new translation feature available to you yet. Anyone who desperately needs the feature can download the Chrome for Android beta, which can be installed alongside the stable version of Chrome on tablets and smartphones.
The latest version of Chrome for Android is version 28.0.1500.64. Google also recently released Chrome 28 for Windows featuring a new notification center and interactive desktop alerts for mail, IM, and other online services.