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Android 12 to translate apps into your native language

Google is seemingly working on a new feature where apps could be translated into your native language. The new feature may come with Android 12.

Android 12

We already have Google Translate and other similar apps. But none is comparable with the features coming with Android 12. This time Google is working on a framework where the operating system automatically translates an app into your native language.

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.

Recently, XDA-Developers acquired the unreleased version of Android 12. The team discovered that the new version has a new “translation service” and some UI changes. In fact, the team made two discoveries – BIND_TRANSLATION_SERVICE and MANAGE_UI_TRANSLATION.

The first one is the permission related to SystemUI. The latter one is defined by the value config_defaultTranslationService.

It is expected that the app can be set up as a translation service. Moreover, Google may offer it up to third-party apps as the MANAGE_UI_TRANSLATION permission has “role” (“a role is a unique name within the system associated with certain privileges.”), which means Google may add “Translator” as a Role.

The new framework is relatively complex and low-level, and it may directly translate text within the UI of an app, translating the text in the user’s native language.

AllTrans is a similar third-party app offering a UI translation feature for years. This app directly hooks into an app’s view to translate and replace the text. Android 12 is expected to do the same.