In our experience, about the only thing Google Goggles is good for is telling you that your can of Coke looks like someone's face, but the company's just-released version 1.1 sounds like it might be on a whole new level of awesomeness. Basically, Goggles can now recognize text within the "region of interest" that you specify on the screen then give you the option to translate it to any language of your choosing. Between this and Google's already quite good Translate app, Android devices are getting dangerously close to letting monoglots (thanks for the great word, Google) travel safely and effectively in foreign lands. Other improvements in Goggles 1.1 include better barcode and image recognition (thank goodness), an improved UI, and the ability to initiate identification from your gallery, so it sounds like a must-download if you've got a phone running Android 1.6 or better. It's available now.

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Google Goggles starts to get useful, adds text translation