Lost in translation: hidden Android bug praises the iPad

7 Jan 2013

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An embarrassing bug has been found in Google’s text-to-speak app Google Now as well as Google Translate; that responds to specific text or voice queries by adding in a line “he now praises the iPad.”

The bug, which at the time of writing seems to have been removed, would turn any phrase that has the words “end with” into a line ending with “he now praises the iPad.”

Google, which is hell bent on dominating the mobile computing world, has plans to see its Android operating system eventually dominate the tablet computer market and therefore would have no intention of praising the incumbent Apple.

For example, by putting the worlds “the song end with” into Google Translate the phrase would be translated into “the song end with he now praises the iPad.”

The strange bug has been tracked by software developer Paul Kafasis over the past three months.

“If you’re unaware, Google Now is a personal assistant app for Android devices which aids in searching via voice,” Kafasis wrote.

“It takes in spoken commands, and speaks back results. This bug is thus stating that when the app is asked to define the precise nature of a giraffe, a completely random phrase is tossed into the mix. That’s sure to rank near the top of any list of ‘most bizarre bugs’, and it’s likely to be ignored altogether due to its sheer preposterousness,” Kafasis said.

Smartphone translation image via Shutterstock

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com