If your iOS app is not targeted at a strictly local audience and you’re planning to reach out to people all over the world, then you should consider localizing your app. This is especially true if you want to expand to the Asian market. China is constantly showing very high downloads, whereas Japan is one of the top spenders on the App Store.
The App Store makes it very easy to add a new country – all you need to do is click on a button. However, localizing an app is not as simple as that. The first thing you should understand about app localization is that it’s not only about translating the texts though Google Translate. Translating your in app texts, app title, keywords, description and other meta data is definitely a good start, but localization is more than that.
Localizing an app for a listing in a new country means completely reviewing the whole listing and the app itself. First of all, you should find someone to manually translate the texts to make sure there are no meaning mistakes. When you translate texts automatically, too often the software you use translates the word and not its meaning. Most words have multiple meanings, so you can see how this can lead to major embarrassments. For example, how would you translate “bow” with Google? Will it translate the meaning of the noun or of the verb? And anyway, is it an archery bow, a violin bow, or a bow to salute someone? Well, you get the idea.
Another thing to consider when localizing your app is that different nations have different colour meanings and react to things differently. This means that you should look at your buttons, screenshots and other design elements to adapt them to the mentality of the people in your new country.
Localization is not a simple task and it takes a lot of time and money, but it can boost your revenues if you do it right. Remember, it’s better to not localize at all than to simply translate your app using translation software.