How to Finally Translate (Almost) Any Text in IOS 15

As we get closer to the release of iOS 15 in fall 2021, more and more features are being added in the beta. One of the latest additions is a new system-level translation feature that can translate almost any text on your iPhone’s screen.

The new translation tool will be available for all iOS 15 devices after an update is released sometime in the coming months, but those using the iOS 15 beta can test it out right now:

  1. Press and hold a word, sentence, or paragraph until the text turns blue. You can drag your finger to change the amount of selected text.
  2. Click on the new “Translate” option in the pop-up menu. Tap the arrow to scroll if you can’t see it.
  3. The translated text appears in a small window above the applications you open. The window will also have options for copying and publishing the translated text.

By default, translations are done remotely on Apple servers, so your phone will recognize and interpret words automatically. This is helpful, but not everyone will want to share this data with Apple. Fortunately, your device will prompt you with a warning the first time you use the translation feature, and you can choose to have the translation done locally on your device.

To enable offline translation in iOS 15:

  • Go to Settings> Translation and enable Translation on device.

The trade-off is that you need to download the language data for each language you want to translate, which will take up some of your device’s memory. You also need to be online to download the required files. However, offline mode will be useful if you someday don’t have Wi-Fi and mobile connections, and none of your offline translations are shared with Apple.

Luckily, text translation in iOS 15 is a system-wide feature and should be used with most apps and web pages, whether you’re using online or offline mode. However, it cannot translate text from images and will not work in applications and games that do not have selectable text. Some other apps, like Google Translate, can translate text in photos and other media if you need to.

[ Macworld ]


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