Gboard, Google’s virtual keyboard, already has transition features and also dictation options but the two have not really met and worked together. Well, now, they can and they do. The latest update to the app brings real-time transcription and translation so you can dictate what you want to type and also translate it to whatever supported language you want. Google says it has already rolled out to everyone although some devices and users still don’t have it right now.
Android Police reports that if you do have the update on your device already, you’ll be able to use voice dictation instead of typing on your keyboard while your translation interface is open and doing live translation. On the rightmost part of your Gboard, right beside the three dots or overflow menu, you’ll see a microphone icon. In a previous version, the mic icon doesn’t appear when your translation mode was active but now you will still be able to see it.
When you’re ready to start dictation, just tap the mic and start talking when you get your audio cue. As you dictate, you’ll see on the translation box on top of the app the original language that you’re seeking in. The translated version or the second version will be entered in the app. If you want to switch between the two languages, you can just tap the blue-highlighted text. You can also edit the translation mode if you need to manually edit a word.
There may be a few things that can still be improved. For one, there seems to be a character limit in the translate box. It only supports 200 characters which may just be a couple of short sentences. There is also still a little lag in the text entry and the translation. But that is something that may be acceptable since it’s doing both transcription and translation in real-time. The latter seems to be working on all the languages supported by Google Translate.
The Gboard changelog indicates that the “translate online using voice dictation” is the only new thing in the update. Google says they’ve rolled it out to all the users but if you don’t have the microphone yet, just wait till it gets to you.