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What is mobile app localization? Why is it important?

The term globalization first appeared in the early 20th century and matured to take its current form sometime during the second half of the 20th century. The term became popular in the 1990s and has since been used to describe the interaction and integration among people, governments, and companies across the globe.

With consumers going borderless and brands going international, the need for adaptation to international markets has grown immensely. However, going global does not mean that you should totally ignore the domestic and cultural preferences of the people.

Remember, your customers still belong to a specific region, speak certain languages, and follow unique practices that differentiate them from others. While it is important to have a global business approach, it is imperative for businesses to take these localized preferences into consideration.

This eventually gives rise to the need for mobile app localization. If you have come across the term and have been wondering what it is and why it is important for your mobile app, then you have landed at the right place. Continue reading and find out all that you need to know about localization. Learn how to create an app that is localized and ace it like a pro.

In this blog

  1. Globalization vs Glocalization vs Localization: The difference
  2. What is mobile app localization?
  3. Why is app localization important?
  4. What are the benefits of localizing mobile apps?
  5. How to implement localization in your app?
  6. Frequently asked questions

Globalization vs Glocalization vs Localization: The difference

The difference between Globalization, Glocalization, and Localization


Confused between the terms – globalization, glocalization, and localization? Well, you are not alone. These concepts are closely related and often mistakenly used interchangeably. However, the three are different from each other in terms of approach and application.

Explore their definitions below and understand how they differ from each other:


Globalization, as discussed at the start, is the integration of global entities and cultures. Nowadays nations are connected with each other in terms of trade, technology, economy, governance, culture, and more. This opens several borders and gates and allows businesses to interact with customers worldwide. For instance, apps published on app stores can essentially be downloaded by users across the globe. If your app is meant for a global audience, your content and design should have a universal appeal.


Glocalization is a concept that creates a common ground between globalization and localization. It highlights the importance of adapting your product to global needs while taking local preferences and trends into account. If app owners want to give importance to local audiences while targeting the global market, this approach can be highly helpful. Tailor some segments of your app and overall brand assets without losing the global appeal.


The internet has bridged the gaps between regions, cultures, and people, paving the way for borderless business. However, preserving local identity and cultures becomes especially important in the age of global connectivity. Most people still give importance to their domestic culture, languages, norms, and so on. Localization allows you to stay aligned with the same. You can localize segments of your apps in many ways and tailor them as per your targeted demography and regions.

What is mobile app localization? 

Now let us explore localization in detail.

If you are planning to create a new app or update an existing one, it is important to ensure that your app’s content and positioning resonate with your targeted audiences. This is why embracing localization becomes vital for mobile app owners and developers.

Mobile app localization can be defined as the process of customizing an app’s content, design, imagery, user experience, functionalities, and store listings according to different geographic locations and demographic preferences.

Unlike popular beliefs, localization is not limited to translating your app’s content into a given language for a specific region. It is much more than that. Ideally, localizing requires you to tailor and modify every aspect of your app to align it with the targeted audiences and markets.

Related Read: How to enter a new mCommerce market: A guide to mobile app localization

Why is app localization important?

Have you heard the phrase – ‘Lost in translation’?

If yes, then you must already be aware of the importance of wholesome localization. Mechanical translation fails to paint the intended picture and often leads to a huge difference between the intent and the impact. This is where localization helps.

To elaborate, books often have different titles in different countries. Movie titles, dialogues, and even character names are often tailored according to the country, region, and language of the audiences. (For example: the UK’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone becomes Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US.) This is simply because the audience is not the same everywhere and one size does not fit all.

Similarly, major platforms and companies like Google and Apple emphasize localization. This is because preserving and highlighting local languages, regional references, socio-political norms, and cultural practices becomes particularly significant in the era of globalization.

While it is important for brands to have a global appeal, being in touch with the roots and reflecting the thoughts and emotions of your targeted audiences is equally important. Remember, not every audience and user out there is completely globalized. They still speak their own language and are connected to their own roots.

Studies and surveys highlight that there are over five billion internet users but less than 26 percent understand English. Now, around 64 percent of all websites use English as their primary language, leading to a huge communication and language gap between consumers and brands. As translation tools may not always do justice to the content, you can imagine the effect of this chasm on your brand’s success.

This is why localization is highly important. It allows you to demonstrate that you care about such audiences and are committed to adapting and aligning your brand with their specific needs and preferences. This earns you the trust and confidence of your targeted audiences and gives a boost to your brand image.

Use of different languages: Internet vs real world


What are the benefits of localizing mobile apps? 

Localization is not just important but also immensely beneficial. Here are the most obvious benefits of localizing your mobile app and its listing:

Calibrated and amplified market reach

Localizing your mobile app allows you to connect with the right kind of audience and earn their interest, trust, and confidence in your product and brand. Moreover, translating and customizing its content allows you to make your app more accessible to the audience and enter new markets. Localization also strengthens App Store Optimization efforts and gives a boost to your ranking and visibility on the app stores. Eventually, it strengthens your market reach, calibrates your product positioning in the right direction, and allows you to ensure a strong presence amongst your competitors.

Effective communication and brand awareness

As discussed above, not every person out there understands your language. Moreover, translation tools often lack complete accuracy, and the essence of the content is lost in the due process. Not just language, but the imagery, emoticons, graphics, and references should also capture the thoughts and emotions of your targeted audiences. Eventually, localization makes your content more effective and paves the way for better communication and connection. This leads to better brand awareness and recognition and increases the recall value of your brand.

Enhanced user experience and conversions

When audiences get access to a product that is tailored according to their specific needs, their experience becomes smoother. Users can interact with your app more smoothly and seamlessly. The content, features, and interface do not become a puzzle for your audiences, and they are able to grasp the content with much ease and convenience. Similarly, when your communication and support are localized in addition to your app and app store listings, it amplifies and powers your efforts of branding and marketing, leading to better conversions and overall performance.

Suggested Read: Benefits of creating a multilingual website and app for your online business

How to implement localization in your app?

It is important to have a holistic and strategic approach when implementing localization in your mobile app. Go through the tips and suggestions discussed below and create a winning localization roadmap for your app:

Research and identify your targets

Mobile app research is the most essential precursor to localization. Start with recognizing the market that you want to target and conduct extensive studies accordingly. Identify the targeted market, the location, audiences and their preferences, existing competition, growth potential, and so on. Similarly, you should also know which language will work best for a given region or demography. Study the local preferences and cultures and plan to incorporate them accordingly.

Allocate budget and hire resources

Once you have identified the market, user base, and language and established the preferences of your users, you can proceed to allocate resources. You will need to hire professionals for translation, cultural consultation, technical implementation, and so on. Take expert help and focus on the linguistic nuances when modifying the content of the app. Prepare your tech stack and logistics accordingly and move ahead with all the necessary arrows in your quiver.

Think beyond linguistic translation

As discussed above, you must think beyond mere literal translations of your content. As you localize the app, you must also consider the following:

  • Translate text and media without losing the essence or context and ensure precision.
  • Modify images, videos, date formats, measurement units, numbers, currency, and other elements.
  • Customize the imagery, audio, buttons, functionalities, and overall appeal of the app.
  • Identify local keywords and search terms and incorporate them in your app and app listings.
  • Give preference to cultural adaptation and local jargon, symbols, and references.
  • Extend localization efforts to marketing and customer support initiatives.
  • Localize content for various media, marketing, and branding, channels, and formats.
  • Collaborate with local influencers and partner with local brands for promotions.
  • Take economic disparity, and geopolitical and sociocultural preferences into account.
  • Maintain consistency in the overall tone, branding, and positioning of the app.
  • Adapt and align your content according to local laws, norms, regulations, and so on.

Consider technical variations and accuracy

When localizing your mobile apps, it is important to consider the technical aspect. You will require a specific tech stack and talent to implement localization. Here are some tips to follow when doing the same:

  • Separate code from content to simplify translations and reduce localization costs.
  • Avoid hard-coding elements like date and time that take different formats in different regions.
  • Make your technical and localization teams work together in sync for the best results.
  • Harness localization tools, frameworks, third-party libraries, etc., for technical accuracy.
  • Personalize app UI and UX and tailor your app prototypes and designs without compromising your brand elements.
  • Consider technicalities like differences in text size in different scripts and ensure your app adapts accordingly.
  • Conduct rigorous testing to ensure smooth interactions and error-free content and placement.
  • Push regular updates to keep your app error-free and remain aligned with the latest trends.
Graph showing text expansion and contraction when translating English to different languages.


Collect critical insights and feedback

Collect user data and feedback to improve your app’s content and enhance your localization efforts. Use app analytics and other tools to gather information about user behavior, preferences, and so on. Utilize these insights to make data-backed decisions for your app and improvise accordingly. Keep an eye out for the latest trends and competition and incorporate suitable elements in your app. Remain consistent in your efforts and keep seeking new opportunities and exploring new markets.

Wrapping up 

That was our complete guide on mobile app localization. While it certainly is a tricky concept, it is still not rocket science and is completely attainable. Just implement the information and tips shared above and tailor it to suit your personalized goals and audiences.

If you find this piece interesting, you can also check out our other blogs and learn extensively about mobile app development, marketing, maintenance, listing, and so on. While you are at it, you can also check out AppMySite’s free app creator, a no-code app development tool that allows you to create your own app with a local touch and universal appeal. Try out our platform now and fulfill all your app dreams.

Frequently asked questions

What is app store localization?

App Stores are the marketplaces for your app. For instance, Google Play and Apple App Store are the two most popular platforms for listing your mobile applications. App stores promote localization to make sure that their content suits audiences of all kinds. Thus, app store localization can be defined as the process of adapting and localizing the metadata on an app’s product page and optimizing the listings to make it suitable for specific regions or language searches. This includes modifying the app name, title, subtitle, description, text in imagery (screenshots and/or video), etc. You can include localized search terms and keywords in your description for more accuracy.

When should I localize my app?

The need for localization varies from business to business. You can conduct detailed research and study your targeted market and audiences to know whether your app needs localization or not. You can also conduct surveys and take customer polls. Moreover, you can consider localization if you want to target regions that have different cultural and linguistic preferences or if your competitors are doing so. Start with testing your app in a small market first. If needed, you can go on to expand and localize your app for different regions. Take factors like budget and logistics into consideration before initiating localization. Once you commit, you must be consistent in your efforts.

What is a locale in the context of mobile apps?

In the context of mobile apps, a locale is a dedicated combination of language and territory used to define the linguistics and culture of a given area. Locale can also be defined as the available storefronts supported by Apple App Store and Google Play Store. For example: en-US for US English, fr-CA for Canadian French, es-CO for Colombian Spanish, en-IN for Indian English, and so on. Note that one country can have different locales as they may have more than one main language.


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