Android 12 preps automatic app translation for Pixel phones

Android 12 hands-on
Android 12 hands-on (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is working on an app translation feature in Android 12 for Pixel phones.
  • Once enabled, the feature should allow Pixel users to use apps that don't support their native languages.
  • It's not currently available for testing in the current betas of the operating system.

Google is working on a new feature for Pixels that'll let them automatically translate app content. If it ships, it'll be coming in Android 12 and was spotted by the folks over at XDA Developers.

How would this work? The short version of this story is that Google is working on a translation framework that'll allow your phone to automatically translate text in apps that don't support your phone's preferred language. Many apps already support multiple languages, so only a few niche apps (or even old and discontinued ones) will benefit from this. Still, users of said niche apps would value this functionality. It'll be a Pixel feature, though it is possible that third-party OEMs could add this into their respective skins when updating their phones to Android 12. You can pop over to XDA for the technical part of this if you're interested.

Google Translate Conversation

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

In general, Google has been very keen on building auto translating tools. The Chrome browser already does this if you have the translate extension installed, and a test in YouTube has the service translating titles to the native language of a user's region. Google even added an update that let users translate text in the overview screen, albeit purposefully. Hopefully, this Pixel feature will be optional for users.

That being said, even with the knowledge that not all features found in builds are going to make it to production, it's still a nice feature that'll further the reputation of the Pixel-line as being both "smart" and some of the best Android phones. In combination with the leaked specs and images of the upcoming Google Pixel 6, this makes Google's next flagship a very desirable phone indeed.

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The Pixel 5 is Google's current top "smart" smartphone, relying on AI and software over brute specs. A smooth display, sharp cameras, and fast updates make this phone a winner.

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Michael Allison