Localization Insights
Localization Insights

App Localization: What It Is & The Best Localization Apps

Localizing websites is all well and good, but if you’re serious about international expansion, you’ll need to start thinking seriously about app localization, and in general, software localization. More than 86% of the global population uses a smartphone. In the United States, 90% of consumers have at least one mobile app installed on their devices, with half of them using mobile apps regularly. 

While many global users have a basic understanding of English, most prefer to purchase products and pay for services from apps written in their native language. If you haven’t invested in mobile app localization, you’re cutting yourself from substantial revenues. 

Ready to learn more about app localization? Our guide breaks down everything you need to know, along with a roundup of some of the best app localization software around. 

App localization explained

When it comes to app localization, the same basic rules apply as if you were adapting software or a website in a new language. However, delivering a localized app requires more than simply translating text and interfaces into multiple languages. 

Every last element of your app needs to be adapted to meet the specific cultural and linguistic needs of the end user. You also need to think technically. Your ultimate goal here is to ensure a seamless user experience to increase conversions. 

Why should you be thinking about app localization?

Why is app localization so important? Apple’s App Store now supports 28 languages and is available in 155 different territories. Meanwhile, the Google Play Store can be accessed in 46 different languages. 

Provided you have the resources to invest in app development, these platforms make it easy to connect with users across the world. While global availability will increase your reach, you’ll need to tackle localization if you want to enhance visibility. Localizing all your app content, including imagery and descriptions, will give you a competitive edge. 

A localized app will deliver a much better user experience. This leads to improved ratings which will encourage more users to download your app. Naturally, this leads to a growing customer base and sustained growth of your business. App localization is relatively affordable, increasing the odds of securing a healthy return on your investment. 

App localization: tips for success

Translating app content from one language into another is the most important thing to consider when undertaking app localization. However, you’ll also need to change things like default currencies and ensure that time and dating settings are displayed correctly. 

Furthermore, you’ll need to think about different writing alignments and keyboard configurations. Cultural differences also need to be taken into account. Imagery and icons might play well in one country, but these same elements could offend elsewhere. 

Your SEO strategy will also require a rethink. SEO localization is vital if you want to be using the best possible titles and descriptions for app content.

The importance of testing

Now you’ve invested time and money into app localization, you can start thinking about testing. Before you launch a localized app in a new territory, you’ll need to see how it plays with users from the market you’re looking to expand into. 

Testing helps you avoid future expenses that might be needed to rework applications or fix bugs. When done early enough, it also saves time. You won’t need to commit resources to ad hoc testing to explore and resolve location-based errors. Testing also ensures your app is compliant with local laws and regulations. 

While you’ll need to ascertain whether the content itself has been translated correctly, you can also focus on technical elements during testing. In the United States, more than 55% of smartphone users own an Apple device. In South Korea, Samsung dominates the smartphone market, with iPhones only accounting for around 28% of all devices. You’ll need to test how well your app works on the device types that dominate every one of your target markets. 

Download your guide to product internationalization and localization

Is internationalization the same as localization?

These two terms are often used interchangeably. However, internationalization comes far earlier than the localization process. Internationalization is an integral part of app development. It ensures that an app can support other languages and non-English alphabets. Meanwhile, localization involves processes like translating text into new languages. 

Internationalization also lays the foundations for code that can be used to pull data to display different locational preferences. With localization, you’ll be focused on things like setting up default currencies and language keyboards instead. 

How to localize your apps: localization checklist

Internationalization forms the framework for localization, but this doesn’t mean you should leave your localization efforts for later. For successful app localization, it makes sense to start thinking about strategy as early as possible. 

1. It’s never too soon to start thinking about app localization

During the development stage, make sure localization remains at the forefront of your mind. When designing things like app interfaces, ensure they’re as flexible as possible so they can support other languages beyond English. This will save you from having to go back to the drawing board and undertake invasive redevelopment. It also benefits speed to market. 

2. It’s not all about translation

Translation is a crucial part of localization, but it’s by no means the only element. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re partnered with a reliable translation service. High-quality translations are a must here. You’ll want expert linguists and native speakers, with translated content reflecting the nuances and cultural specifics of your target market. 

3. App Store Optimization (ASO)

If you’re familiar with search engine optimization, app store optimization is an easy concept to grasp. It essentially involves optimizing app titles, descriptions, and keywords to give your Android or iOS app the best possible chance of appearing at the top of app listings. Word of mouth will only get you so far, but a robust ASO strategy will increase the chances of users discovering your app independently. 

4. Name order conventions

Name order conventions vary wildly. In English, a given name goes before a surname. However, paternal and material names are both included in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. In many Asian and some European territories, the surname prefixes the given name. This basic detail is often overlooked in app development, leading to avoidable problems later. To preempt any issues, adopting a single field for names is a good idea.

5. Pluralization

Here’s another point of divergence for many languages. In English, pluralization is fairly straightforward, with most words following the same rules. In languages like German, you’ll need to consider gendered nouns and special characters. To make life easier, leave yourself flexibility during the development stage so you can add variable elements. This way, you’ll encounter no issues when you start localizing your app for specific languages. 

6. Embedded text

Embedding text in images is best practice for SEO. However, it can be problematic for app localization. You’ll need to localize your images for every specific region. It’s time-consuming, but well worth the effort if you want to enhance user experience. 

7. Use an experienced app localization provider

Struggling to get your head around app localization? If you’re stuck in app development hell, this is understandable. To speed up the process and get your app to market, it’s time to explore localization services

At BLEND, we offer a full suite of app localization solutions. We can help with UX localization, ensuring your app feels personalized to every user in any market. We can also provide insights into app store listing localization and deliver continuous support for that endless stream of app updates. 

Common app localization issues 

There are many reasons to invest in app localization, but tailoring your app for new markets doesn’t come without setbacks. If you want to streamline the process and preempt any problems, you’ll want to consider the following:

App localization can take time

Successful localization doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to get your apps to market as quickly as possible, localization should be a fundamental part of the development process. Furthermore, app localization is an ongoing process. You’ll need to implement localization every time you create an app update if you want to continue to engage and retain users. 

Quality of translations

This is important for any type of localization project. If your messaging is translated poorly, it can lead to cultural misunderstandings. This can cause users to stop using your app or delete it from their devices altogether. It’s tempting to use free translation tools, but they’re not really suitable for professional localization. A high-quality localization provider with experience in translation m management is the only way to go. 

How to measure ROI?

As with any localization effort, app localization should be seen as a long-term investment. However, measuring ROI can be difficult. To determine whether or not your investment is paying off, you need to consider what metrics to use. Focus on your most important business objectives and use app analytics wisely. You can also think about tracking customer experience. When in doubt, use surveys to get an idea of customer satisfaction and canvas opinion for suggestions for improvement. 

The best localization apps

Ready to tap into new markets with app localization? We’ve picked out some of the best app localization services for you to consider. 


BLEND is a user-friendly localization platform that makes it easy for developers to access industry-leading app localization services. With AI-driven technologies and one of the largest networks of professional human linguists on the planet, you can count on BLEND to deliver the goods. 

This platform allows you to manage all your localization resource files online, organize projects, and implement workflows. There’s also scope for adding essential information for translations, providing linguists with clear direction so the essence of your content is preserved as it’s retooled for new audiences. 

2. Crowdin

Crowdin is designed with agile teams in mind. This management platform streamlines the localization process. It’s ideal for mobile apps, but can also be used to localize websites, blogs, games, and more. Boasting in-built integrations for dozens of tools, Crowdin also offers features tailored specifically towards mobile app localization. 

3. Localazy

Localazy is a great option for those who want to get a head start on their localization efforts. Designed with developers in mind, this localization tool makes it easy to automate essential tasks. Currently, Localazy’s shared memory supports more than 80 languages, which can dramatically speed up the process of translating large text volumes. 

4. Lokalise

Lokalise is geared more toward those with technical expertise, making it a solid choice for any app localization project. Professional translation services are also available. You can use it independently, or use it as the base for collaborative team projects. Inline translation suggestions make it particularly accessible, while chat features keep everyone connected. 

5. OneSky

OneSky is something to consider if you want to automate the process of mobile app localization. Although designed for use across all business sectors, it’s particularly well-suited to those looking for help with the technical side of app localization. 

Looking for app localization services?

Ready to break down borders and launch your app in new territories? At BLEND, our app localization services make it easy to increase visibility and improve user experience. With thousands of linguists working in more than 125 languages, we can help with everything from app store descriptions to providing cultural insights. With our support, your app will feel as though it was designed especially with your target market in mind. 

If you’re looking for an established localization provider who can do it all, get in touch with BLEND today. Our localization tools will give your app a competitive edge, increasing the odds of succeeding in any market.

author post

Corinne Sharabi

Corinne is the Social Media and Content Lead at BLEND. She is dedicated to keeping global business professionals up to date on all things localization, translation, language and culture.


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