How To Localize Your iOS Mobile App For The Apple App Store?

Apple’s App Store has 4.5 million apps and games available for download in 2021 in 175 regions and 40 languages.

If you are wondering how your app will be able to stand out and looking for an edge, targeted mobile app localization services will be central to your strategy. But when localizing for the Apple App Store specifically, there are some ways in which you can leverage Apple’s available tools and features so the localization process, and your expansion strategies, can be streamlined.

App Localization Process For The Apple App Store: How It’s Done

How To Identify The Best Languages And Markets To Fit Your Strategy?

So, how can you decide which languages will be most suitable to translate your app into? As you may have guessed, this is a little bit more complicated than just choosing the world’s most popular languages. Only with a sound strategy that applies to your app will you be able to select the languages and markets that are most likely to boost your ROI. In order to achieve this, it is important to know how your app features can be leveraged and which other insights you should apply.

  • Leverage Apple App Analytics To Identify Potential Markets. When you are offering your app worldwide, even prior to localization, you will be able to collect data on where your app is performing best, so you can identify opportunities. For this, App Analytics2 can offer you valuable insights on product page views, total downloads, sales, app units, all filtered by territory, device, and more. For example, let’s imagine your primary app language is English. And while you are detecting engagement in the French market, you notice that the average retention per active device in France is on the low side. In this case, you may want to consider localizing your support services in French as a start then localize the app fully to French. Note that you will only receive this data if the users have agreed to share their usage information and diagnostics.
  • Pay Attention To The Potential Profit And Competition. We have found that one of the effective methods our clients should follow is to learn from their competition and frame their observations in the context of potential profit. For example, certain App Analytics tools such as Sensor Tower3 and AppAnnie4 can help you track the localization journeys your competitors are embarking upon.

Internationalization: Leveraging Apple’s Technologies

Before you can successfully localize your app for different markets, it has to go through a process referred to as internationalization. Internationalization is the process of making your app localization-friendly. In other words, it customizes the app’s code and verifies that the app can be consumed across multiple markets.  Apple tools such as the Xcode 11, Unicode Support, Apple APIs, and Auto Layout can help you do that. Leveraging these tools, you will be able to prepare your app for multiple languages and locations, even if you are not sure yet which languages to add. Here are some ways you can successfully use Apple Technologies to prepare for localization:

  • Xcode separates the content that’s visible to your users from the code. The content can be integrated back into the app in the form of localized resource files.
  • When it comes to localizing images including image sets such as Apple TV image stacks or Apple Watch complications, it can be done from the Asset Catalog.
  • Also note that you can leverage localize SF System Symbols5 and integrate the direction for certain custom symbols to make the localization for RTL-Languages such as Hebrew and Arabic a lot easier.

When you are looking to add a language to your app, follow the steps in the Apple Store Connect Help page.6 However, you should keep in mind that adding languages to your App Info Page is connected to your app’s metadata and is not related to the Xcode method mentioned above, which focuses on localizing your binary.

Localizing The Appropriate App Content

Mobile App Localization combines linguistic, technical, visual, and cultural adaptations of your app’s features to a new market. Quality Assurance is safeguarded throughout the localization process by the implementation of the Translation, Editing, and Proofreading (TEP) Process. The content types that will need professional localization services are:

  • Non-String Content, while non-textual, will also need to be exposed to the localization process. This includes video, graphics, audio, numbers, currency, and so on.  You should also note that the App Store and its payment processing option makes it easy for you to offer your app to international markets through optimized payment methods. The options available in the App Store are region-sensitive based on local preferences, and include digital wallets, App Store and iTunes gift cards, credit or debit cards, and carrier billing. The App is also expanding and making more and more currencies available beyond US dollars and Euros.7
  • The App Store Product, i.e. the product page, which includes App Store metadata such as the app descriptions, app previews, keywords, and screenshots, that will all need to receive customized localization for each region and language. Note that App Store Connect API can be used upload your metadata automatically and manage your localizations.
  • In-App Content is the content the users encounter when navigating through the app. The in-app content is localized through the translation of the Resource File, which is typically based on JSON, PO, XLIFF or.XML interchange file formats.

Mobile App Localization: A Quick Guide from Laoret

Pro Tip! Learn about the ins and outs of the Mobile App Localization Process in our blog How To Use Mobile App Localization As A Smart Market Expansion Strategy! It covers everything from selecting the best vendor to the localization process, continuous localization, and testing.

Take Your Marketing To The Next Level With The ASO Strategy And Local Optimizations

So once you have your app available in the languages you need, how do you promote it? A verified method combines App Store Optimization (ASO) Strategy with targeted mobile game localization, which, when skillfully applied, significantly increases conversion rates. Want to learn more? Check out our article How Should I Promote My Game In The App Store? You should also tweak your market strategy regionally to communicate the value of your app in the most effective way. This is why you should also:

  • Research the social media channels that are most popular in your target region / country so you can connect with local audiences.
  • Localize all of the marketing materials you intend to use such as banners, advertising, graphics, etc.
  • Use the App Store Badges to include a clear call-to-action (CTA) and localize them to tailor them to your new audience.
  • Promote your app at the top of relevant search results with the Apple Search Ads,8 which is at this moment available in over 60 countries.

Choosing The Right Translation And Localization Partner

Mobile App Localization is a complex process, and it involves different levels of expertise to get it right. In your search for a qualified vendor, make sure they tick the following boxes.

  • They boast linguistic as well as technical authority and can offer quality translations while ensuring a smooth-running UI free of bugs.
  • They leverage top of the line translation and localization technologies to streamline the process from planning to execution. This involves a specialized project manager that brings in native translators with cultural insight to appeal to the audience, and a translation management system that integrates CAT tools to ensure accurate translations.
  • They commit to rigorous app testing and provide functional, visual, and linguistic QA.


How can mobile app localization for the Apple App Store reach its full potential? Next to securing a solid localization strategy, it is paramount that you know how to leverage Apple’s tools and technologies so that your localization practices and Apple’s features are connected. Additionally, you will need to apply local marketing methods where you can similarly use Apple’s data as well as a well-rounded ASO Strategy in order to have the biggest impact. At Laoret, we hire in-country, native experts to manage our mobile localization projects from linguists to localization engineers. Our 24/7 availability means we can organize our work around your schedule and help you reach international expansion goals on your terms. If you are looking for best localization practices for your Google Play Store App, check out our blog How To Localize Your Mobile App For Google Play?

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