Global Success Stories: Top App Store Localization Examples

Did you know? 50% of the countries in the Top 10 list for downloads and revenue in the iOS App Store were non-English speaking countries located in Europe and Asia. Additionally, localized apps showed 128% more user sessions compared to apps that were not localized. 

This prompts the question: How much money could you be leaving on the table if you don’t localize? 

If we’re being honest, we don’t even want to think about that number. Localization is an invaluable process to both app developers and publishers, and it should have proper budgetary allocation and timeline space to truly be perfected in-app prior to roll-out. 

In this article, we’ll review exactly what app localization is, examples of market-leading localization examples, and challenges and solutions for you to consider as you go through the app localization process. 


Understanding App Localization: More Than Just Translation

Preparing an offering for a target market is more than just translating the content into the prospect’s native language. Instead, it requires both internationalization steps and a subsequent localization strategy; working actively to refine content into something that appeals to cultural differences and adheres to cultural norms. 

Localization efforts leave devs with a final product that instantaneously fits into the local app market, immediately boosting brand awareness and perception from native speakers in your targeted region. 

This process is so much more than just thoughtful and contextually accurate translation; instead spanning in-app content, design, marketing initiatives, and other elements that can impact your app downloads

App store optimization and localization steps are key to consider in your dev process, whether you plan to roll out on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store (or both!).


Top App Localization Examples in Action

Many of your favorite apps are already using localization to gain an advantage in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, respectively. An example of this is Flipboard — a popular news app. 

Flipboard: Showcasing The Power of Localized Marketing 

While the branding and description of the app remain largely consistent across markets, they have gone the extra mile to add a “sub-heading” or explanatory element of the name that can be localized for new markets — which can be translated to “Your News Magazine.” 

Other elements in the app are both internationalized and localized, including right-to-left options for content consumption, and user-friendly, dynamic content presentation options depending on your regional location. It has done quite well in its category, boasting hundreds of thousands of downloads. 

Candy Crush: The Addicting Global Game That Hasn’t Stopped In Years

If you’ve spent any time in the global app market, you’ve likely run into ads for Candy Crush, an addicting swipe-and-match game that boasts 3 billion+ downloads to date. The game is successful in part due to its strategic marketing campaign, which relies heavily on in-app ads using localized hooks, imagery, clips, and elements. 

Their Apple App Store and Google Play Store pages are also completely localized in both length and presentation, making the game instantly appeal to a broader global audience. Translation as a complementary concept is overlooked, in this case, as the app itself is kept primarily in English. The popularity is made possible due to the user-friendly, visually driven in-app tutorials, which might help avoid the local language barriers. 


Key Elements of Effective App Localization

Now, let’s take a look at the components of effective mobile app localization. Understanding and implementing these elements into your workflow will boost perception in the market, ensure a more successful launch, and provide you with an ASO-aligned end-product that will appeal to the user experience expectations of different markets — whether you plan to launch in India, Japan, China, or elsewhere in the world. 

If you’re not sure where to start, consider these four areas of focus: 

  • Translated content. Content translation, in this sense, goes beyond translating in different languages — like Spanish, Chinese, German, or Arabic. Instead, your content should be regionally and contextually optimized to appeal to consumers on the basis of familiarity and anticipation for their current customer journey stage
  • Cultural nuance. What appeals to members of the French culture may not be as impactful to those who align themselves with Japanese cultural values — and that’s OK! Anticipating the need for cultural expectation satisfaction and nuance in your app experience and visuals will help you enjoy a more impactful experience in the market. 

  • Local trends. While app formats and flows should technically be evergreen, you can get a bit ahead by incorporating local trends for immediate attention-catching. This will require an immersive understanding of your target market and different cultures, as you’ll have to harness the trends of a specific region in your imagery, text, and marketing areas of the rollout. 
  • Impactful imagery. Localized versions of your app and marketing experience should use different imagery and visual elements that appeal to different cultures and different locales. Mastering this phase of the localization process will require research and insightful quality assurance steps to ensure that you remain aligned and not offensive. 


Challenges in App Localization and How to Overcome Them

As with anything worth doing, localization comes with its own set of challenges. Our experts have compiled a list of the top three to consider, as well as the top three workarounds that you can proactively implement into your process: 

Hurdle #1: Limited Measurable Impact

The impact of localization can be difficult to measure, especially as it relates to your bottom line. Generally, those that “see” the most difference quantitatively have gone from a state of no localization to a state of localization in their app interface and marketing strategy. 

The Fix: Determine what your baseline metrics are during the expansion, and monitor for a few months prior to localization rollouts. Then, assess the difference you see, and adjust your strategy accordingly. 

Hurdle #2: Localization Expenses 

It can be expensive to localize an app, especially if your app is complex or dense in nature. The cost can skyrocket if you have other elements that you have yet to budget or pay for, such as intensive market research, cultural expertise, and more. 

The Fix: Search for and find affordable localization services and support options, like OneSky. Additionally, you can break your budget down across “stages” of localization, targeting specific user interface and functionality areas that are “higher-value” than others as you go. You can also consider using machine translation services for the lower-impact copy that isn’t necessarily customer-facing — or that doesn’t have much nuance or “context risk” behind it.

Hurdle #3: Lack of Comprehensive View 

There are so many areas of focus when it comes to app localization for cultural preferences — including actual content, subtitles, visuals, marketing elements, date formats and file formats, optimization of resource files, and more. This means that it’s hard to get a comprehensive view of what’s needed in the localization process — resulting in inefficiency at best, and loss of capital at worst. 

The Fix: Call in the calvary whenever you need to, and work with experts (like the team at OneSky) to make your rollout a success. Experts can support you in tailoring content to your user base, using the most cost- and time-efficient methods available. You deserve the peace of mind that comes with that, and your clients deserve the polished end product that they’ll be getting at the end of your process. 


OneSky’s Role in Transforming App Localization

OneSky plays a vital role in the app localization process, arming developers and publishers with the high-quality translated content needed to make an app launch successful. We do this using a centralized, cloud-based TMS that allows you to get to-the-second views of your localization and internationalization process. 

The TMS is designed to limit the strain that the l10n process can bring to an otherwise chaotic developmental process, offering you a well-organized and supportive framework for a more efficient workflow overall. 


Localize and Conquer Global Markets with OneSky

App localization is critical to your overall success. Some of the biggest names on the market, such as Instagram and Facebook, are classic examples of what success could look like with commitment and a skillfully crafted localization strategy

After your strategy is created, it’s time to find quality, nuanced, and contextually accurate translated content to fuel your app’s rollout. That’s where OneSky comes in—we have been acting as a translation, localization and internationalization authority since our launch years ago. 

We offer shared decades of experience, translation in 50+ languages and dialects, and a team of 1,000+ to help get your project across the finish line. Ready to learn more and experience the difference for yourself? Connect with us today and start for free. It’s our pleasure to support you.

Mandy Fong

Head of Sales, OneSky

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