Localizing mobile apps has become a must-have for any developer looking to maximize the value of their goods. Releasing an app in English or just one language in general and sticking with it, as many developers used to do years ago, is no longer a wise option, especially when aiming to enter a worldwide market. Mobile app localization has become an essential tactic in today’s global environment. Localization, or adapting your app to multiple languages and cultures, is an effective technique for growing your user base. However, app localization price is sometimes high. Fortunately, you can save money in various ways while providing your users with a high-quality localized experience.
Localization Beyond Translation
Never consider mobile app localization mere translation since it is so much more. Localization is the process of adapting your mobile app to work in different markets, which includes much more than just the language aspect, such as unit and currency conversion, date formats, numbers, and even adapting your app to social conventions, legal regulations, and different technological standards.
When developers think of localization, they instantly think of the content within the app, but localizing your app listing on the app store is also an essential part of the process.
Metadata and keyword localization are critical for app discoverability. They should always come first, even before in-app content localization, because most users will not download an app even if it is available in their preferred locale if the app store metadata is not localized to that locale.
It is recommended that you begin by localizing your app store metadata into as many locales as possible, even if your in-app content has not yet been localized to those languages, beginning with the keywords and progressing through the app name, description, and screenshots.
In reality, several studies have proven that metadata localization increases app downloads and income by more than 200% and app discoverability by having the app downloaded in new countries.
This can also be highly useful in choosing which markets to expand into and which locations to localize your in-app content by tracking which countries or regions download your app via localized metadata.
How Do You Get Your App Ready for Localization?
To have the freedom to experiment and discover the ideal countries and regions to focus on, it is best to set up your app for subsequent localization from the start. This will save you hours of development time and considerably reduce the cost of later multilingual localization.
The localization of a mobile app consists of three steps:
Internationalization refers to the process of making an app language independent and the early preparation of content for localization. Once the app or game has been internationalized, estimating the time and work required to localize it to any language is easy.
This procedure entails separating all user-facing content (text and graphics) and storing it in strings and separate files, which are then available for translation. Developers will then create distinct routines to retrieve the number and date formats and display them for each locale. Fortunately, this process only needs to be done once, and the sooner it is completed, the less expensive app localization cost will be.
The next stage is to localize the content and adequately adjust all user-facing text and graphic elements for a specific area.
App localization necessitates far more than a simple translation, as additional aspects such as colors, forms, and numeric formats can significantly impact. Never rely on automatic translation!
Native speakers of the target language must always perform translation and proofreading. Don’t forget that if you want to provide a seamless and high-quality experience for your users, your localized software should appear and feel as natural as if it were created in the user’s original language.
Even little grammar or punctuation issues may irritate a native speaker, which will rapidly appear in your evaluations and ratings. Avoid automatic translation and constantly proofread your texts with local speakers to avoid complaints.
App Store Implementation
Both the App Store and Google Play offer handy techniques for facilitating mobile app localization:
- End users select locales, which are then automatically implemented by retailers.
- Text strings can be simply exported and saved in separate files to facilitate localization.
- The screen layout adapts automatically to varied text lengths.
- Numbers and dates are automatically formatted to match the user’s locale.
Checklist for App Localization
Localization has numerous benefits for app developers that should not be overlooked. It is an excellent method for reaching a broader audience, diversifying your present client profile, and entering new markets to assess demand for your mobile product.
Here’s a Quick Guide on Mobile App Localization:
- Investigate your target market. Conduct a search for similar apps, look at what your competitors are doing, your clients’ buying habits in this region, and what price they are willing to pay for your product.
- Discover which devices are most popular in this region and which app stores dominate the market.
- Optimize your target stores’ app stores to determine the optimal visibility and conversion strategy for this market.
- If necessary, prepare and alter your user interface to accommodate foreign characters, vertical scripts, and RTL languages. Check that your software supports user-generated text in any language, regardless of the user interface.
- Check the graphics and proofread the localized material with a native speaker – occasionally, irrelevant images can fail to convey the proper message to your users.
- Ensure that you are not simply translating but modifying your product by including local sharing options, chat, and a support website.
- Always test your localized app on all devices and platforms to ensure it is consistent and free of problems or bugs.
- Be quick – the sooner you start planning mobile app localization, the easier and less expensive it will be to test new markets.
Localization is a critical step in broadening the reach of your mobile app and reaching a global audience. While it has its own set of fees, using these cost-cutting tactics will help you get the most out of your localization budget without sacrificing the quality of your product. Using these techniques, you can ensure a successful and cost-effective localization effort that contributes to the development and success of your mobile app.