Four Quick Tips for Your Android Localization Project

Category: Software Translation, Technology

Our Q3 newsletter featured an article on preparing your Android app for localization. Read below for a summary of what to keep in mind, or head over to our newsletter article for the full story.

1. Identify target countries

Your target countries and languages will guide several of your software localization decisions. Bi-directional language support is crucial if you are localizaing into Arabic or Hebrew. Luckily, Jelly Bean-powered devices can already handle that tricky hurdle. If Singapore or Hong Kong is on your global strategy list, accommodating Asian characters could impact your design process.

2. Select target devices

While the Android system provides development environment that is relatively consistent across devices and APIs to manage screen resolution discrepancies, you’ll still want to understand your global users’ target screen sizes and densities. A subset of 20 devices makes up about 80% of Android volume, according to TechCrunch. You can focus on these, or conduct in-market research to determine which devices hold the greatest global potential for you.

3. Choose the right test environment

Device-specific emulators generally work well for localization testing purposes, unless your app requires testing features via a local data connection, such as a GPS-based app. Remember to test both landscape and portrait display modes for each target device and language to avoid some potentially major bugs.

4. Optimize for Google Play search

Google Play accurately matches up searches with corresponding applications. To benefit from the beauty of its algorithms, though, you’ll need to play by the rules (a great way keep on top of the game is by setting up a Google Alert). Optimize your app description and title for search in your target countries. Work with your translation agency to select keywords for each locale and use them up to five times throughout your title and description.

Include screengrabs of your localized app when justified. If you have a text-heavy application, you’ll want to show off local-language text in these marketing shots. For killer global app status, post a subtitled or dubbed version of your English promo video or trailer.

Closely monitor what your public is saying about you on Google Play and throughout social media. If you are launching in a pilot country, initial feedback can help you refine your localized product before your full global release.