Localization is the process of adapting a client app to a specific language. A localized mobile app renders all its content in the user’s language. In this article, we discuss a few key aspects on why you should localize iOS apps. While it could be obvious while this is a good idea, most developers would rather not invest time for localizing their apps, when working on a minimum viable product. Even if you don’t plan on adding localization support initially, it’s recommended to keep an eye on localization while writing your code, to make sure you won’t run into much trouble when the time for localizing the app comes.
Localization is a good “design pattern”
In terms of architecture, this is the best point we can make. If you care about writing well-designed Swift code, factoring out your static strings is definitely the way to go. You need to treat all the static strings the way you treat your constants. Factor them out! This is a simple and trivial task and it could save you much time down the road. Ideally, you should keep all your strings in the same files, so that they can be reused everywhere they’re needed. While doing so, you’ll notice that when the time for localizing your app comes, there’s not much work needed to localize all the strings. You’ll most likely only need to wrap everything around an NSLocalizedString. This has other advantages as well – changing a string that appears many times in the user interface implies just a one line change.
Localize iOS apps as a growth hack
When you want to expand your app to a broader audience, you won’t be ready to do so until your app is localized for the languages you target. This is the only way to maximize your success. A Chinese, French or German user won’t easily download an app that doesn’t support their language. It’s clearly more likely for them to download a mobile app that speaks their language. By having a deeper and more intimate connection with these users, your app will generate more downloads, traffic, and sales. A mobile app should always deliver a great user experience, and by providing a localized iOS app, users will love your product even more.Besides delivering a more awesome user experience, by localizing your app you also grow your target audience. Just think about people who don’t speak English as all. There’s a few billion of them! Localization will help you grab that market share! Besides delivering a more awesome user experience, by localizing your app you also grow your target audience. Just think about people who don’t speak English as all. There’s a few billion of them! Localization will help you grab that market share! Localization will also increase the rankings of your app in overseas countries and it will most likely get better user ratings. These two combined can result in a snowball effect and it will bring tons of new user downloads. Use localization as a growth technique! Are you still not convinced why to localize iOS apps?
Localizing your app is easy
If the reasons above did not convince you of the importance of localization (highly unlikely!), Apple makes it really easy for Swift developers to integrate it into iOS apps. There are many tutorials that teach you how to localize iOS apps. You only need to take several minutes of your time. More specifically, you need to configure your Xcode project to support Localization and then add the files with localized strings into your project. We won’t offer more details on this matter, but you can access this resource for more information.
Bottom line on Localization
The most important thing when starting a brand new iOS project is to write your code in a manner that encapsulates static strings appropriately. This will make you write robust Swift code and when the time for localizing your mobile app will come, it’ll be really easy to add translations for all the strings, by taking advantage of the efficient localizing tools Apple provides.