End-to-End App Localization Services

When it comes to app localization, most developers have no idea of the can of worms they’re opening. They tend to oversimplify things, assuming it’s nothing more than a “string in, string out” process. However, that approach is going to lead to some serious issues as localized adaptations complicate the original system. The entire user experience is impacted when poorly translated content leads to broken code or poor user experience.

Streamlining app localization

App localization requires a measured, strategic approach to deliver the intended UX, regardless of the language. Not to mention, product adaptations need to play nicely with a wide range of devices. It’s imperative that you leverage a platform capable of managing all of these changes as well as translation quality and the various workflows involved.

Of course, before you engage app localization services or start such a significant project, you need to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Is your product ready to evolve without breaking? Is your whole team on board to support the complexities of localization? Once you decide to move forward, you’ll need detailed plans for breaking into new markets.

Is App Localization Worth It?

It can be tempting to target a ton of different markets to gain the most exposure possible. But you need to consider carefully if it’s worth it to rush things. Remember that localizing an app isn’t just a one-time effort. It’s a continuous process that will require ongoing funding to sustain future updates.

Before you dive into app localization, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How is the app already performing in the market in question?
  • What kind of feedback is already coming from users?
  • What is the purpose of the app in that region?
  • Is there significant growth potential?
  • If there are different language dialects, which would be the best to target?
  • How extensive will the localization project be?
  • Which operating systems are responsible for most users?
Keep your localization ROI in focus

Outlining these answers will help you better understand your goals in the region. For example, if you have an app that’s performing well in India with many user requests for Punjabi in regions with high growth potential, then localization could exponentially expand your footprint overnight. On the other hand, if you have little traffic or interest from a particular area, you know to deprioritize that opportunity in your localization plans. Finally, identifying the scope of Android versus iOS users will help you determine if you need to localize for just one or if both platforms are required.

Expertly Juggling iOS and Android Localization

While iOS and Android localization processes are somewhat similar, it’s important to remember that these tasks will not be identical. Key differentiators will affect how you approach app localization strategy.

Be prepared for Android localization

Android apps feed into the Google Play store, which supports 51 different languages. Apps must be optimized for Android Oreo for the best results. A max size of 40MB for apps and 65MB for games is recommended to increase installation likelihood. Finally, Android offers APKs for quick app testing before regional rollouts.

Be prepared for iOS localization

iOS apps feed into the APP Store. This store, accessible in 175 countries, supports 40 languages. Apple does offer a wide range of APIs to aid developers. However, there is one major one they’re lacking, and that’s the APK. App testing will be much more cumbersome on an iOS platform as there’s no virtual environment to view the end result.

Choosing a Localization Process

One of the most significant factors in the app localization process will be workflow management. This may be one of the most pivotal decisions you make. Are you planning to send and receive strings on a strict schedule, or are you looking for a more continuous process? Don’t just assume that a continuous localization system is the cleanest and easiest; you’d be surprised how messy it can actually get when you do have to sort it out. Let’s look at some of the common risks and benefits with different workflow approaches.

Pros Cons
Continuous
In this process, files go in a repository like GitHub. If there are any changes or updated strings, they trigger changes system-wide. Strings are in a constant state of motion, making this a seamless approach to translation updates.
The continuous process ensures that all translation changes make their way through the entire system starting right after they're updated. It is an elegant solution to updating strings, at least, from a translation perspective.
What a continuous process offers in elegance of translation is actually a detriment to business and workflow management. Tasks have no defined beginning or end, so there's no clear way to build in accountability or to manage them at an individual level.
File-based
The file-based approach to localization processes is more transactional. You simply send off a Word file; it gets translated and sent for review. Then, it goes to the tech team for input into the system. It's a linear process.
This is a straightforward approach that allows managers to track progress and complete changes. They can tell where the translation is in the process and who it's assigned to. Mistakes are simple to track and correct, at least, when compared to a continuous system.
While this is a straightforward solution, it's also one that demands a lot of back and forth between translators, tech teams, and management. This creates redundant tasks that may lead to unnecessary spending and resource waste. It's also much more time consuming than a continuous process.
The Hybrid Solution
A hybrid system mimics the workflow of a continuous process while the level of real accountability echoes that of a file-based strategy. It delivers the benefits of both.
The hybrid solution eliminates the drawbacks of both continuous and file-based options while taking full advantage of their benefits. This is a solution that Bureau Works leverages. You submit a job, and it's handled from beginning to end on our platform in a continuous flow. We use screenshots packaged into timeframes to build in accountability and make the project traceable. This process allows for a fully documented yet constant workflow.
What to Look for in App Localization Services
Take your app global with localization services

When choosing app localization services, look for an end-to-end solution. It can be challenging to manage all the moving parts of app localization. A single space where you can submit translation requests, review completed tasks, pay invoices, transfer new strings, and monitor your ROI will help you avoid the headaches inherent in preparing an app for foreign markets. With a robust platform, you can ensure your app is ready for any rollout and look forward to smooth global expansion.

Using the Bureau Works platform, you can enjoy end-to-end app localization services and track your progress from a single workspace.
Contact our team for more information.

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