Google rolled out a new version of the app which lets users simply point their smartphone's camera at a signor other piece of text and automatically see the translation:
The new translation feature is dependent on a startup called Word Lens, which Google bought last year. it currently works for translation from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, and Google says they're working to expand to more languages.
Google says that they've also tweaked the spoken translation functions so that you conversation will flow faster and more naturally. Rather than having to tap the mic button between each translation, users now only have to tap the button once for each of the two languages being translated, after which the app will translate between the two languages automatically.