Google is teaching a few new tricks to Android Marshmallow’s Now on Tap feature, which lets you find relevant information and context about what’s currently on your device’s screen when you press and hold the home button. Namely, it can now translate pretty much any screen, including apps, read QR and bar codes, and suggest relevant articles and videos.
The first of these new features isn’t entirely new -- Google already offers a Translate widget that pops up inside of other apps after you've highlighted text in a foreign language. However with Now on Tap it’s quicker and easier to translate an entire screen rather than having to move the cursor around a section of text. It won’t translate all the content on a particular app or website, though, only what’s shown on the screen.
The feature is currently supported on Marshmallow phones whose default language is set to English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, or Russian.
The feature’s camera-based image searching is also expanding from recognizing famous landmarks to being able to read barcodes and QR codes as well. Again, this is already possible with a multitude of apps, but now you can just fire up the phone’s camera and hold down the phone’s home button pointing at the barcode to get helpful cards related to that object, such as user reviews. No need for a separate app.
Lastly, Google is adding what it calls a new “discovery mode” which brings up a feed of articles and videos related to whatever is on your screen. The new features are rolling out gradually to users with Android Marshmallow installed.