As we get closer and closer to the release of iOS 15 in Fall 2021, more and more will be More functions will be added to the beta builds. 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 as soon as the update is released in the coming months Run the iOS 15 beta can test it right away:
- Long-tap a word, phrase, or paragraph until the text is highlighted in blue. You can drag your finger to change how much text is selected.
- Tap the new one “Translate” Option from the popup menu. Tap the arrow to scroll if you don’t see it.
- Translated text is displayed in a small window above all open apps. The window also offers options for copying and sharing the translated text.
By default, translations are done remotely on Apple’s servers, so your phone automatically recognizes and interprets the words. This is helpful, but not everyone will want to share this data with Apple. Fortunately, the first time you use the translation feature, your device will prompt you with a warning and you can choose to have the translation done locally on your device instead.
To enable offline translation in iOS 15:
- Go to Settings> Translation and toggle “Translation on the device.”
The tradeoff is that for each language you want to translate, you will have to download language data that will take up some of your device’s storage space. You will also need to be online to download the necessary files. However, offline mode is helpful if you are ever without WiFi and mobile connections and none of your offline translations are shared with Apple.
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Fortunately, iOS 15’s text translation is a system-wide feature and should work with most apps and websites – whether you’re using online or offline mode. However, it cannot translate text from images and will not work in apps and games that do not have selectable text. Some other apps, like Google Translate, can Translate text in photos and other media if that is something you need.