Google Translate is testing a big Material You redesign

Google Translate is testing a big Material You redesign

Update 1 (09/10/2021 @ 06:55 PM ET): More screenshots have emerged of the upcoming Material You redesign of Google Translate. Click here for more information. The article, as published on August 2, 2021, is preserved below.

Google Translate is one of the most useful Google apps, allowing you to seamlessly translate text, bilingual conversations, webpages, and more between so many languages. Although the app has continued to gain new tricks such as letting you transcribe real-time speech, it hasn’t seen a major UI refresh in a long while. But that might be changing soon as Google appears to be working on a big redesign for the Android app.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

Google Translate 6.21 rolled out over the weekend, and it contains a new Activity titled “NewTranslateActivity” that, when launched, brings up an entirely new UI for the app. It’s still a work in progress at this point as when launching the activity directly, lots of things aren’t functional, including the “camera” button, “more” button, star button in the top left, and the account button in the top right. But this nonetheless gives us a sneak peek at the new design that Google is working on regardless.

As you can see in the screenshots below, the new UI puts a clear emphasis on one-handed usability, with the camera, mic, and language switcher buttons all now appearing at the bottom for easier access. The new UI also gets rid of the hamburger menu that currently gives access to Phrasebook, Saved transcripts, Offline translation, and Settings. It appears these options would reside under the “More” tab located in the bottom left corner.

Interestingly, the Manifest entry for this new Activity suggests this redesign is tied to the Pixel 6 series, Google’s upcoming smartphone lineup rumored to launch in October. The label for the Activity refers to a string named “app_name_p21”, where “p21” likely refers to the 2021 Pixel phones. The actual value for the “app_name_p21” string is “P21 Translate”, so it seems this new design may launch on the Pixel 6 running Android 12. The Manifest entry also suggests this design is the “Material You” redesign for the Translate app, with the style labeled as “Translate_MaterialNext” — Material Next is the internal code-name for Material You.

The new UI being exclusive to Pixel phones wouldn’t all be that surprising, as we have seen Google done that on multiple occasions. In any case, the new UI hasn’t rolled out to any existing Pixel phone. We’ll continue to dig into the APK for more info and let you know if we find anything worth sharing.

Google Translate
Google Translate
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

Update 1: More screenshots

The folks over at 9to5Google have shared some additional screenshots of the in-development Material You redesign for Google Translate. The new screenshots show off what the Conversation and instant camera translation views look like. The most notable changes to the current design of these two features are the bigger buttons and pill-shaped bubbles that inherit their color from the system.

Another screenshot shows off the new language picker, which is largely unchanged save for a repositioned header. The new text translation page has also been slightly tweaked since we last saw it in Google Translate 6.21, with a card at the bottom other translations and a FAB to translate something else.

Image credits: 9to5Google

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Kishan Vyas
Kishan Vyas

A loyal Android user since Android 2.1 Eclair. Direct inquiries to [email protected]