App localization Guide - localize mobile apps

what is mobile app localization

What Is Mobile App Localization?

In this highly connected digital world, globalization is an essential part of any business. Being able to effectively reach and engage with customers around the world is crucial, especially for mobile app developers.

With the rise of smartphones, apps have become a core part of our daily lives. From ordering food to watching films, research has shown that over 230 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2021 alone.

This extensive use means localization of an app is crucial in ensuring your products can reach consumers anywhere in the world. What is this localization, though, and how can it help?

Why should you use localization for an app?

Mobile-app-localization is a highly beneficial aspect of any business. This is a unique process that requires you to adapt your app so that it can be used by consumers in a wide range of localities.

This could require adapting the wording so that it is in the right language, or even changing the layout to suit the target market. With nearly five billion smartphone users in the world, the localization of apps ensures that your product can be enjoyed by customers no matter where they might be located.

Effective localization will ensure that your product is not only meeting the requirements of your chosen demographics, but also helping you to reach new audiences.

five billion smartphone users

What is the difference between localization and internationalization?

Localization and internationalization are two vital strategies for any business, but many people often confuse the two. While they are two similar methods and both rely on each other, they do have two very different approaches.

Internationalization is the process of adapting your mobile app code so that it can be easily modified and adapted into the required language. On the other hand, localization is the process of actually customizing the content so that it meets the expectations of the chosen destination.

This means that internationalization needs to happen first, ensuring that mobile app coding is ready to meet the adaptations of localization.

Find out more about internationalization in our guide on what is i18n.

What is the process of localization?

While there can be no denying the many benefits that come from localization, it is a comprehensive and time-consuming task. To help you, we have taken a closer look at the process:

1) Planning

The first stage of any localization strategy is to ensure that you focus on your planning. This process should cover the research into the languages you are looking to focus on, how you will do this, and what requirements are needed to successfully meet the demands of your target audience.

2) Execution

Once you have comprehensively planned your localization strategy for the app, the next step is to execute the changes. This should be taken with the utmost care and attention, carefully working through every aspect and feature of the app to ensure that they are meeting the requirements.

3) Testing

With the translations made, you need to ensure that you are conducting a comprehensive testing strategy to ensure that it meets the exact requirements of your target audience. A beta test is the most effective way of doing this.

Beta testing is the process of having the app reviewed by native speakers of your target demographics, having them review the copy and design. This should not be rushed, and you should be methodical with your beta testing to guarantee the very best result.

Including an in-app feedback feature can be very beneficial, with research showing that it can increase feedback by up to 750%.

4) Publish your updates

Once your beta tests have been completed, it is time to publish your updates. This is the final step to getting your mobile app out there and being used by consumers.

5) Bonus tip – read customer reviews

Of course, there is no better way to ensure that your app is the very best it can be than by reading customer reviews. This is your chance to see exactly what customers are thinking, allowing you to adapt the app accordingly.

process of localization

How to find translators?

Comprehensive translation is essential to any localization process, but finding the right translator can be tough. There are several tips to remember when finding a translator, including:

1) Background

The first thing to do is to review their background. You want to ensure that your chosen translator has a proven history in your target language, either being a native speaker or has spent considerable time in that country.

2) Be clear

When engaging with a translator, you should make sure that you are as clear and straightforward as possible. The more thorough you are with your instructions, the better your translator will be able to understand your requirements.

3) Ask for examples

Another top tip when it comes to finding the very best translator possible is to ask for examples. Any professional translator will be happy to showcase their past work, allowing you to review their results.

In our ecosystem, there is a way we make this much easier for you. Learn here how to find a translator with localistars.

How to choose the right localization technology

Technology has transformed the world around us, helping to make things more efficient and easier. This is true when it comes to mobile-app localization, and there are some fantastic options out there to help you make the process as quick and as easy as possible.

However, it is essential that you are utilizing the right technology. Not having the right localization-tools can lead to poor results, so when it comes to finding the right localization technology, there are certain things you should look for:

  • A collaborative process that allows copywriters, designers, managers, and more, to work together.
  • A solution that lets you reuse app strings and content, helping to save you time and money.
  • A built-in glossary of mobile app terms to ensure consistency.
  • Automation tools for tasks such as string extractions, performance monitoring, workflow management, and screenshot generation.
  • Integration with other essential apps such as Slack and Jira.
  • Ability to support multiple file types and file-format.

You can improve the user experience of your global app and attract more customers by implementing a proper translating-app process for your content. This is why every app-business should use localization services.

App-localization-tips: How to localize your app

When it comes to app localization, there are several top tips to remember. The first is to ensure that you are being as comprehensive as possible in your beta testing. This will give you the knowledge and insight on what is working and what areas still need to be improved.

You should also ensure that you are being as flexible as possible when it comes to adapting your mobile app into different languages. You also want to ensure that your app is able to support languages that read right-to-left and left-to-right, guaranteeing that it flows for readers no matter where in the world that they might be based.

The support of numerous languages will also have a favorable impact on the app store listing .

Another helpful tip is to transfer strings from code to resource files. Because storing strings in resource files before deploying code allows the team to access those files for translation later without having to change the code. The team may access those files for translation without having to update the code itself.

Check out our localization software; it's exactly what we can help you with, and it only takes a few steps to get started.

Conclusion

In this fast-paced world that we live in, it is essential that your mobile app products are meeting the requirements of your chosen demographic. These minor details are critical in making your software stand out from the crowd and attracting new users.

However, effective mobile app translation can be incredibly tough, so it is essential that you are working with professional and experienced localization-service. These professionals will guarantee that your iOS, Android, or other app meets the needs of your customers.

Are you looking for localization of an app? We have helped hundreds of clients transform their reach over the years, so get in touch with our experienced team today to find out more.

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