Should You Launch English Apps in Foreign Markets?
Couldn't find anythng about this on the web...
I'm wondering if anyone knows/thinks its a good/bad idea to launch English apps in a foreign market. For example, my app is programmed in English, and also uses the dollar sign, which not all countries use, obviously. My developer says that we should wait and localize the app before we launch in countries that are not english and/or do not use the $ sign. My argument is that some users in those countries may not be from there, but have iTunes accounts from those countries, and would like to get the app.
What do you think is the better idea? Launch it everywhere anyway, or wait to localize it?
- 09-26-2011, 05:09 AM #2
- 09-26-2011, 05:36 AM #3
Let the users choose whether or not they want it in English. The $ alone won't matter unless it's tied to amounts...in which case you'd need to do more than localize an app, you'd need currency conversion/rates.
Our signature app is not localized, but we offer it in 17 markets.
We will probably allow the user to choose their currency in future versions, but for now the app is almost done so we're not going to introduce anything new until 1.1. We have a few other, more significant features to add that are higher priority.
I feel this way as well, I think it's much better for the user (and for profits) to give them the option. You're right, the $ doesn't really matter at all because it is not tied to any amount.
- 10-12-2011, 08:36 PM #5iPhone Nanite
- 6 Posts
Yes, but not right away
We plan to localise MailShot, our unique group email app, but as it requires a certain degree of user support we felt it was sensible to do our first few update cycles updates in English only, to get all the wrinkles out and learn what our users were likely to need help with. Now that it is in a pretty final form seems a good time to localize it, we will soon find out if it is worth it.
What languages are people considering- would English, Spanish, German, French, Italian seem a sensible order of priority, considering the rapid growth of Spanish in the US? are there any figures showing the size of the iOS market for each language?
- 10-20-2011, 12:47 PM #6iPhone Newbie
- 20 Posts
I'm no expert at all, but fwiw, I've held my latest app back to get localizations completed before the initial release. My goal being that I want to capitalize on the momentum generated by the initial release. With websites having such global exposure, its more common for a French or Spanish speaking native to capture news on an English website ... and I don't want to miss the opportunity for them to be able to buy it in their native language because they had to wait (and potentially forgot about it). It's just now submitted for review and I'll take the time to localize my app store information in those languages as well. Just some thoughts, hope it helps. I'm still trying to learn the ins and outs myself.
- 10-31-2011, 11:47 AM #7
- 11-04-2011, 04:44 AM #8
- 11-04-2011, 05:01 AM #9
- 11-10-2011, 04:08 PM #10
- 11-21-2011, 07:43 AM #11
- 11-22-2011, 04:34 AM #12iPhone Newbie
- 14 Posts
Localization is neither expensive or that difficult if you design your App to BE localized from the very beginning. I held off on launching "Puffer's Train Challenge" until it was localized into English, French, German, and Spanish. Because the infrastructure was in place, all I needed were 1 or 2 friends fluent in each.
However, if you have a fully coded App and are now thinking about holding off while you rip it apart and localize it... Just ship it! Alli above is correct, it's amazing how much the rest of the world puts up with English language Apps. Mostly because US developers tend not to think about the rest of the world up until the moment when they suddenly need to sell something...
For any future efforts, make NSLocalizedString() your friend and don't put anything out to a console or screen without it!
- 11-22-2011, 05:15 AM #13
- 11-22-2011, 05:30 PM #14iPhone Newbie
- 35 Posts
Anybody has any numbers?
I wonder about the effect on downloads of a normal app that is localized - did anyone experience an increase in downloads from localizing?
And what about offering two versions of the same app - one in the local language and one in English - i for one would be annoyed if I could only get a localized app, I prefer English for any computer program.
- 11-22-2011, 10:38 PM #15iPhone Newbie
- 14 Posts
Localized vs. multi-single language Apps
When it comes to "localized" Apps the user (or you) can use them in ANY of the localized languages. On an English language iPhone just go to Settings/General/International/Language and choose the language you want. Once it reconfigures itself, go back to the Region Format and choose the country.
You may have to close out and restart the App, but if it is localized into that language - Voila! The App now works in your language of choice.
One down side I've found from doing this to test my localizations - somebody forgot to tell all of Apple's Developers about this! After changing everything back to English, I find that my "auto-correct" on messaging often wants to change words into "best guess" French or Spanish. To date, the German always seems to transition back properly.
So, only 1 version of any localized App is needed. Hope that helps.
- 06-06-2013, 02:21 PM #16iPhone Newbie
- 11 Posts
Re: Localized vs. multi-single language Apps
Another design solution is to try to use as little text possible, and use clear icons and follow popular design trends. I know that's not always relavent, but for some apps it works.
Also in many people I've spoken with Canada preforms alot like the US, just on a smaller scale usually, so many developers launch there first.
- 06-06-2013, 05:21 PM #17
- 06-10-2013, 03:39 AM #18
Re: Localized vs. multi-single language Apps
I think English is an international medium of communication. And an English version of an app will be fine for most countries. Especially if you don't have time or resorces to make localizations.