Mobile App Localization

Here's What Industry Insiders Say About Mobile App Localization

May 29, 2020

Full-scale mobile app localization draws enough traffic, boosts ranking and finally speeds up installs. To maximize your potential reach, customize the app's description, and go beyond your user base. Your apps can be noticed in the international market if you enter translated content.

Why Mobile App Store Localization?

Studies found that 47% of mobile users in the UK abandoned apps due to insufficient localization. Likewise, Another study by Statista found that the number of mobile phone users worldwide has passed the 6 billion mark as of 2020.

Moreover, in terms of revenue & downloads, 80% of countries within the top 5 range, and 50% of countries within the top 10 range, come out to be non-English speaking countries. Globally, Asia generated 41% of app revenue, Europe 23%, and North America 31%, by 2017.

With this in mind, you may see why it’s important for your app to reach the global market. Mobile App localization helps you personalize your app for new audiences, based on different demographics, and varying interests, leading to the boosted sales, and maximized profit.

Mobile App Localization Vs. Mobile App Internationalization:

App localization is often confused with the app’s internalization. While they both rely on each other, these are two different processes with distinguished approaches.

Internalization is personalizing the code and Localization is customizing the content. Code Internalization is one step ahead of the content localization.

What’s Mobile App Internalization?

Before you start mobile app localization, make sure it’s localize. If your app is already all hard-coded then it can’t be internalized, thus it won't be able to localize. Internalization is carried out in parallel with the mobile app development process.

What’s Mobile App Localization?

As a developer or marketer, your goal is getting more app’s exposure, higher visibility, more active users, more downloads, and ultimately maximum revenue. You can do it through mobile app localization.

To demonstrate, localization includes a variety of spoken dialects and variations of the same language, known as locales.

The union of a language and the country in which it’s spoken form the locales. To clarify, think of English spoken in the UK versus US or Canada; or Spanish spoken in Argentina, Mexico, or Spain. To put it in other words:

  • en_UK: United Kingdom
  • en_US: English - United States
  • en_ CA: English - United Kingdom

Occasionally, only language code is used to represent a specific language that isn’t spoken only in a certain region. As an illustration:

  • fi: Finish
  • tr: Turkish
  • It: Lithuanian

Regional Expansion: Consider mobile app localization in regions that have more or less the same traits as your default locale - for instance the alphabet, numbers, currency, date format etc.

To demonstrate further, if your default language is English, it would be a good idea to localize your app to European countries e.g. Spanish, German, French etc. As they share almost the same characteristics, unlike Chinese that is completely different.

Multilingual Mobile Applications: Multilingual apps get higher rankings. Publishing app descriptions in a variety of languages helps in mobile app localization and your app reaches a considerably big audience.

Which Language to Choose? You can also search for the most popular languages over the internet, As of 2017, some of the regions are as follows:

  • English – 25.3%
  • Chinese – 19.8%
  • Spanish – 8%
  • Arabic – 4.8%
  • Portuguese – 4.1%
  • Indonesian/Malaysian – 4.1%
  • Japanese – 3%
  • Russian – 2.8%
  • French – 2.8%
  • German – 2.2%

What Do You Need to Localize?

The following areas need your attention for mobile app localization.

(i) App Store Content:

  • App description
  • App Title
  • Keywords
  • Supported URLs
  • Videos
  • Images & Screenshots
  • App reviews
  • In-App purchases

(ii) Non-String Content:

  • Text
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Audio
  • Date Format
  • Numbers
  • Currency

App’s Description:

It’s proven that mobile app localization results in 128% more downloads.

You can localize your apps description for various markets like Google Play, Apple App Store, Windows Phone Store etc. It can take much of your attention, enough research, and the right strategy to write descriptions that can access the global market. When a user first comes to read it, they must find your app interesting, without sounding like a typical door-to-door salesman. Write it in a way that it can influence the users from different regions with varying preferences.

App Name:

Name is an important element of mobile app localization. Localize the app’s name so that your international audience can understand your app better. Ask your translators to transliterate your app into a more descriptive name so that it’s easily readable.  


Use keywords in the description that can bring international traffic, attract global users from all around the words. And help users find what they are searching for.

Screenshots, Images & Videos:

Include localized screenshots, images, and high graphic videos to increase global users’ interest.

Support URLs:

Add a localized version of URLs for more traffic.

App Translation:

As a part of mobile app localization, identify how much it costs to hire translators for translating app descriptions in multiple languages. You have an option to outsource from different services available on the web. You will find various online companies who are experts at transliterating your app’s content at cost-effective rates.

Select Target Audience:

When it comes to app localization, you must be wondering which regions, and which languages to choose. To explain, if you have a sports app and your target is soccer fans, you need to target the UK, US, Germany, and Brazil, thus making your mobile app reachable for the locales of en_UK, en_US, de_DE, pt_BR.

Check App Analytics:

App analytics provides possible growth directions for mobile app localization. Keep in check where loyal users come from, take that traction, and work on it further to strengthen the user base.

Read App Reviews:

App reviews are a great source of feedback from users of different demographics. Getting requests for new locals and complaints from existing ones can help you when you’re in a decision-making process.

Check Your Competitors:

Keep in check what your competitors are up to. As it helps you decide which locales and regions to expand.

Markets Are Different:

Consider that different markets have different versions of operating systems, different screen sizes, and different phone manufacturers. You must have all these details when implementing mobile app localization to ensure your users don't face any issues.

Translation Management Systems (TMS):

Translation management Systems (TMS) are also referred to as localization management systems. It helps you create and control a well-translated app. And allows you to connect with different translators so that they can review your content, and integrate translations. 

Testing App Localization:

(i) Smoke Testing - It is an internal test carried out to analyze the app’s functionalities when a language is added. The testers don't necessarily have to know the complete language. They need to make sure if app is performing well and the app's functionality is not affected by any external factor. In short, their task is to check if the app is working correctly after mobile app localization.

(ii) Beta Testing - An app is tested by beta testers to confirm if the translations are correct. For beta testing, you have to find native speakers, have them use your app and take their feedback. Before Publishing your app, make sure it has been tested properly.

App Release:

Once your app is internalized, localized and tested, it’s ready to release.

International Marketing:

Once your app is ready for a new market you can run ad campaigns to push up your app, increasing discoverability and boosting downloads. When you expand in a new market measure your results via user reviews, comments and feedback. And make changes and additions according to users' needs.

MessageMuse - A Digital Company

This article is brought to you by a digital agency MessageMuse. Offering you mobile app localization, mobile app development, iOS app development, Android App Development, mobile App optimization, mobile app internalization, mobile app marketing - Using high-end technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML), Chatbots, etc. Besides, the company offers you web design, mobile app design, logo design, quality User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX), local business optimization, branding, business reputation management, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), and more.

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