How to Localize Your Mobile App and Why Is Needed

According to the recent polls, conducted in the countries like US, UK, China and many other, the owners of the iPhone and Android smartphones, use at least 9 mobile apps throughout a day, and about 30 of them per month. Which only proves the well-known truth that we have deeply become dependent on our mobile phones, and mobile application in particular, and can’t do much without them. The statistics show that most of our mobile activity, around 90% of it, occurs in apps only. Another interesting fact is that the majority of the participants, from different parts of the world, are using the same applications.

So if you are here to learn how to get into the foreign app markets, and how it is possible to create a product that will beсome popular worldwide, you came across the right article. Down below we will discuss some main benefits and reasons for mobile app localization as well as how to build it. But before we start, let’s begin with the simple explanation what app localization is and explore the main reasons to localize an app.

Basically, localization of the app means its adaptation to the new market and language. But if you think that it is easy you have made your first mistake. To adjust an application to a new country takes much more than a good text translation. Adaptation should come from the core of the app. After all, the success or failure of the mobile services primarily depends only on one thing only – user experience.

Among dozens of the app downloads a single person makes, only a few remain installed on the phones, others are deleted within the first few minutes of the interaction. People don’t give second chances to another product since they find a version of the same application that will suit them better.

And so, in a face of the high competition on the app market, developers need to prove that the application they offer has a great value for the customers. However, it will be hard to do if the product they sell is clearly not oriented to the local community and don’t fit the needs and preferences of the local audience. And that is what app internationalization is all about. Its purpose is to make interaction with your app a better experience for each customer, wherever he or she is. So if you want to have a closer look at the principles of the localization and why it is needed we have created a guide for you.

Why to localize your application

So if you are eager to learn about some practical reasons why you need to internationalize your project, especially after you learned it is no easy at it seems, we want to show you just a hint of what will be your award after doing it. So instead of making a comparison of what you gain with and without localization, we just want to give you some reasons in favor of it.

  • access to global foreign markets;
  • a significant rise in downloads;
  • earning a worldwide reputation for your company;
  • increased chances to find your audience, and much more;

If you are aiming for a big game on a global market you are better to enter the game prepared. And that is exactly what localization is for.

And if you are greedy to have some pros and cons of mobile app localization, just mind this fact. It might cost you more, but it always worth the price. Localization might seem more like a supplementary requirement, but, in reality, a good team of developers and an alignment with the best Android and iOS localization best practices will serve you a great deal. Just a few fixes may increase your downloads worldwide up to 100% and raise your app in the foreign market rates higher than you hardly could imagine. So if you are ready to move forward, let’s learn what those fixes are.

3 tips on making a good app localization

As we have already put it, localization is a much more complex process than just a language translation. It should consider the cultural patterns of the locals. But what it means in terms of its creation? Its development should consist of such steps as:

  • exploring a local market;
  • identifying local user habits;
  • gathering assets;
  • formatting numbers;
  • adjusting layouts;
  • localization testing
  • App Store Optimization, and many others;

But if those things still don’t say much to you we can have a closer look at some of the main issues here, one by one. So, first things first.


It seems obvious that in order to launch an app in a new country you need to translate it into a native language. However, what is usually neglected is how new language can affect the design and the in-app layout. For instance, some languages can occupy more space than others (German or French usually occupy 30% more space than English). Or some language should be read from right to left, or even vertically. From the very early stages of the development, you need to think of a quite flexible layout in order to have those accommodations go easy and fast.

In addition, there are a few more general suggestions to follow if you want to overcome the cultural and language barrier without any troubles:

  • always provide your translators with the context;
  • better don’t use graphics with words on them;
  • identify your target audience;
  • specify not only the language but the country as well (en-UK/ en-US);
  • use professional translation services;

Time and measurement units

A similar approach should be taken towards all the measurements units, currencies, dates, times, and so on. They all should be “translated”. You should keep in mind that all of those entities may differ depending on the part of the world. Therefore, the right format will increase your chances in a foreign market and benefit the user experience.

App Store Optimization: Title and keywords

Adjusting to the new culture and language is one thing, adapting to a new market is another. Such things as title, keywords, and description should also face some changes during the localization depending on the targeted region you picked. ASO is a big help when it comes to searching in the store, meaning it is necessary to make your app visible to a new audience.

To have a successful optimization you need to study both your new audience and a new market in order to pick the right words for the description and keywords. Otherwise, you make the search for your app quite impossible. Remember, good keywords in one language might make no sense in other. Same, by the way, can go with the symbols and images you use depending on the cultural perception of them. So, anyway, at this stage, you might find and put new high volume keywords into the newly translated title and description.

And don’t forget to upload screenshots in the store with the already translated texts. They are fully responsible for the first impression of your product and connection with the potential customers.

Common mistakes during app localization

As a bonus section, we’d like to provide you with a short guide into the common mistakes people do during the localization. The number one among most frustrating mistake is not to care about localization until it’s too late. A good example of this is when developers haven’t left any extra space for the future translated languages or lacking Unicode support.

Thinking that localization is based only on translation into the local language is another enormous misunderstanding of the process. Of course, it will give you the access to the foreign market, but without a proper research of the local culture, habits, and nuances that differ audiences from one another, you will never reach the success you are counting for.

Another unfortunate mistake is to hardcode time, numbers, dates, and even words. Using a dictionary or a resource cabinet will be safer and easier for the future translation, and as for the other units – use the library with localized files.

Also, as it was said previously, try to have texts separately from the images. This will benefit you a lot during the translation.


Keep in mind that localizing your project is always easier from the beginning than as the last fix, so don’t postpone it or doubt in its necessity. Sooner or later you will come to this conclusion yourself. And as each step of the localization requires a lot of attention and research, better don’t lose time and hurry to hire the best experts in iOS and Android app localization – LunApps.

Our app development company provides our customers with the best app localization services at the most appealing prices you can find. Our team at LunApps has been around for years, helping to build projects for large businesses as well as for startups. We create world-class iOS and Android custom applications. Feel free to contact us for more information.