Google Chrome Gets Machine Translation, New Privacy Features

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-03-02

Google has added instant machine translation and new privacy features to the Google Chrome Web browser, both moves that could accelerate adoption of the application that has been steadily gaining market share in the last few months.

Launched to beta March 1, the new polyglot feature recognizes when the language of a Web page a user is viewing is different from his preferred language setting and displays a prompt asking if the user would like the page translated via Google Translate.

Because this tool leverages the existing Translate technology, this is all done on the fly, without plug-ins or browser extensions.

Google Chrome engineer Jay Civelli demonstrated how the translation tool works in this video here.

Translate is a work in progress, so not all of the translations will be clean, crisp and accurate. But as with everything else Google does, Translate is an iterative technology that will Google will advance over time.

The Chrome team also added a new Privacy section in Chrome's Options dialog that lets users control how browser cookies, images, JavaScript, plug-ins, and pop-ups are handled for each Web site users access with Chrome.

This tool joins Chrome's incognito mode tool, which lets users mask the digital footprints normally left on their computers as they surf the Web. Check out all of Chrome's privacy features in this video here.

Chrome users in Google's Chrome beta channel will receive the new machine translation and privacy features automatically, with those on the stable channel seeing the new tools in the coming weeks.

The new Chrome features come as Net Applications found Chrome grew from 5.2 percent in January to 5.6 percent in February.

Chrome began seeing great pickup after December 8, when Google launched beta versions of Chrome for Mac and Linux, as well as Chrome Extensions.

Adding new translation and privacy features won't hurt either as Google, which passed Apple's Safari in December, sets its sights on Mozilla Firefox, which fell from 24.4 percent to 24.2 percent and Microsoft Internet Explorer, which slipped from 62.1 percent to 61.6 percent.

Read more about Chrome's growth on TechMeme here.

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