Remember watching those old science fiction movies and wondering how everyone could understand each other no matter what planet they were from? Turns out they may have just been using the Translate app on their communicator, I mean iPhone.
With Translate, language barriers no longer exist. System-wide translation allows you to translate text across apps, including text in photos. New features, Auto Translate and Face to Face, are designed to improve our conversation experience. And the redesigned view uses familiar chat bubbles.
Let’s begin translating!
Explore the Translate App
There is a lot to love about both iOS 15 and iOS 16 updates to the Translate app. Here are some of the highlights mentioned.
Auto Translate automatically recognizes when a person has stopped speaking. This is a feature that must be turned on otherwise the default is side by side. Choose the Conversation section and then tap the … icon to access this feature.
Face to Face allows two people to communicate facing each other as you would in normal conversation. This allows each person to read the translation as Auto Translate populates it.
And here is what translated conversation in the app looks like now.
Translate Text in Apps
You can select any text to translate in apps such as Safari, Messages, Mail, supported third-party apps, and more. I’ve used Notes for this example.
Step 1. Select the text you want to translate, from the menu bar choose Translate. (If you don’t see it, tap the right arrow to see more options.)
Step 2. Below the text translation, swipe up to find more options.
Replace with Translation: If you are entering text, you can replace the selected section with the translation. This action will automatically add your translation to the app you are using.
Copy Translation: Use this to post the translation into a different app.
Change Language: Change the language Choose any of the supported languages for the original text and the translation.
Add to Favorites: You can tap the Star icon on the Translate app to see your Favorites.
Open in Translate: This will open your selection in the Translate app for more options.
Translate Text in Photos
On supported models (see list below), you can use your iPhone camera to translate text.
Step 1. Open the Camera app and position the text in the camera frame so that a yellow frame appears around the text. Then tap the icon in the bottom right corner of the photo.
Step 2. From the bar menu that appears tap the right arrow to find and select the Translate option.
Step 3. Swipe up to see the full translation and more options.
Translate Text in Camera [iOS 16]
In iOS 16, Apple has taken system-wide translation one step further by adding it to the Camera app, so now you don’t even have to snap a picture to translate the text of another language.
- To do this, simply open your Camera app and point it at the text you want to translate so that it’s centered in the viewfinder.
- Tap the text selection button in the bottom-right corner of the viewfinder so that it turns yellow.
- Then tap the Translate button to get an instant translation.
Note that you can tap the translation to bring up an additional menu that shows the original text and the translation underneath, which you can have spoken to you using the play button.
There are also options to Copy Translation, Change Language, Add to Favorites, and Open in Translate.
Here’s a list of models that supports Translate Text in Photos, and Translate through Camera:
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone SE (2nd generation)
- iPhone 12 mini
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 13 mini
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 14
- iPhone 14 Plus
- iPhone 14 Pro
- iPhone 14 Pro Max
Download languages for offline translation or On-Device Mode
Download languages to translate when you don’t have an internet connection or when On-Device Mode is turned on.
- Go to Settings then tap on Translate.
- Tap Downloaded Languages, then tap next to the languages you want to download.
- Turn On-Device Mode on.
Now you can avoid getting lost in translation!