TECH CRUNCH - Oct 31 - HowAboutWe, a startup that recommends date activities for both singles and couples, is launching the first internationalized versions of its iOS app. The app is now available in 15 new languages covering ~30 countries, including Japan, France, and Russia. All features in the app are free for international users (US users pay $8-$35/month).
Things You Need to Know Before Internationalizing Your App
- All of your translatable copy should be stored in strings. Make sure that all copy in the app is dynamic and represented in localized strings files.
- It is easier to internationalize a native app without addressing email or web interfaces, but it’s not easy. There are often many server-side changes to make. Don’t underestimate this part of a “native app only” translation project.
- Your backend systems will need to be translated and adjusted.
- Other languages often require grammatical differences for men and women. Modify copy to be genderless or add rules around gender.
- There aren’t great tools for figuring out string length requirements, especially when your UI is customized. Japanese is very wide in the iOS system font, you have to be more judicious with your copy to fit into your custom UI space requirements without awkward linebreaks.
- Location-based sign up flows built for the US often need reworking in other countries.
- It’s important for your translators to put significant time and thought into how culturally relevant your app is for each country to which you’re expanding.
- Be mindful of all unit-related aspects of your app such as distance, time, calendar date, and currencies.
- Some app features require significant market penetration in order to work efficiently.
- It will always take 3x longer than you think.