Google Translate Tap Update
Credit: Google

Yesterday, Google announced a spate of new updates to its app, Google Translate. We already thought this was one of the best translation tools for travelers because of its comprehensive language database and offline capabilities, but today’s additions have made it even more useful for travelers abroad.

You Can Instantly Translate Chinese

Chinese became the 29th language available for instant visual translation—focus the camera on the text you want to translate, and the app transforms the characters (both simplified and traditional) into English.

Everyone Can Use it Offline

One of our qualms with Google Translate has always been that its Offline Mode (52 language packages you can download in advance for use without data or Wi-Fi). This new upgrade has made the offline capabilities available on iOS devices, too. Bonus? The size of the bundles has shrunk from 250 MB to 25 MB, saving you time and memory.

You Can Translate Your Chats

Android users also got good news yesterday: the Tap to Translate feature. Inspired by the way people have been taking to chat apps, Google introduced a functionality that allows direct translation within any Android app. No more copying-and-pasting or switching apps.

Best of all? Google Translate has a lexicon of 103 languages. And absolutely every one of them, and every feature within the app, are free.

Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.