Google Chrome 18.104.22.1681: The Universal Translator?
Google is out this week with a new beta version of its Chrome browser (just for Windows now) that includes a new translation feature.
As a user of Google Chrome 5.x dev-channel I've seen the translation feature before, but now that it has hit beta even more users will get the chance to use it.
How it works is Chrome now hooks into Google Translate to provide users with an option for translating a web page (and yes it's likely easier than sticking a Babel fish in your ear).
Sure there have been web site based page translators for a decade dating back to the Altavista search engine (now owned by Yahoo), but this is the first fully integrated translator built directly into a browser and not as an add-on or browser toolbar.
In my own usage surfing web sites in Canada I've often found the translate function in Google Chrome 5.x to be somewhat inaccurate. For example, when I visit Walmart.ca (which is in English) I get a dialog box asking if I want to translate the page from French to English.
Still, it's an interesting idea to include as a core feature in a browser (as opposed to just being a toolbar or add-on) and it further shows how Google is integrating its broader set of online services into Chrome.