Android: The Google Translate app for Android got a huge update yesterday: now if you take a photo of a sign, menu, or any other text in another language using your Android device, you can tell the app to try and translate it based on a selection of the text that you specify. The app will try and interpret the characters from your image and will automatically translate the text into your preferred language for you.
Here's how the app works: take a photo of the text you want translated, then swipe your finger on the image to "rub away" the area that you want translated, kind of like a scratch-off prize ticket. Google Translate will scan the area, show you the words it'll translate (and let you correct them if it interpreted an as a one, for example), and then a split second later, perform the translation. The new feature works with a handful of languages, including English, Dutch, German, Turkish, Russian, Italian, Spanish, French and a few others, but mostly languages that use Roman characters.
Google Translate itself supports 64 different languages, so even if the photo translation doesn't support your language or the language you're looking at, you can still use it. For example, the app supports Japanese translations now via handwriting on the screen, so if you can write the Japanese characters you see, it'll tell you what they mean in your language (approximately, anyway.)
It's not perfect and definitely has its quirks, but it's definitely sharp enough to do what previously mentioned WordLens for Android charges you 5 bucks for. Unlike WordLens, you can't do translations offline — you need an internet connection for Google Translate to work. Still, it's free, available now, and supports devices running Gingerbread or higher.