Google Go is picking up the ability to read text out loud

  • Google Go is getting Google Lens integration.
  • You can point your camera at a piece of text and Lens will start reading it out loud.
  • The feature is available with 14 languages at launch.
  • There's also a live translation feature that works on-device.

Google Go is getting a pretty significant update that allows it to read text out loud. Announced at I/O 2019, the feature is part of a broader Google Lens integration into Google Search that works the following way: you point your camera at a wall of text, and Lens will automatically start reading the text out loud.

What's even more impressive is the translation service, with Lens translating text in real-time from over a dozen languages at launch. Google says it was able to bring the size of the dataset down to just 100KB, making the translations available instantly on-device. The feature is particularly useful for those that don;t understand a particular language. The example illustrated above is a powerful use case that shows off just how empowering the feature is in emerging markets like India.

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Live translation is the latest in a long list of features that Google has integrated into its lightweight search app. The feature is rolling out later this month, and while it's also coming to the full-fledged search app, it's going live on Google Go initially.