Mar 26, 2020

4 Industries That Are Nailing Mobile App Localization Right Now

Today, every industry understands the importance of providing their consumers with apps that help them do things on-the-go – whether it’s making payments via online wallets or book flight tickets. Customers, too, are using multiple apps daily. Let’s look at some numbers:

  • By the end of 2020, mobile apps are expected to generate a revenue of $189 billion
  • Google Play Store currently has 2.8 million apps for download
  • Gaming is the most popular category in the Apple App Store
  • An average smartphone user spends about 2 hours and 15 minutes using apps

Consumers have adopted mobile apps across the globe. If your brand has a mobile app on the market, your users’ list would most definitely be a set of diverse people from various parts of the world. Now, how do you ensure that all of them have a unique experience while using your app? Well, that’s what app localization does.

Medicine & Healthcare

Whether it’s access to the right medical information or contacting doctors on-the-go – the medical and the health industry has launched many useful apps in the market. This rise in health technology aims to provide everybody with access to affordable and quality healthcare. While some of these apps focus on certain terminal illnesses like cancer, others focus on fitness and wellness.

  • Apps to book appointments with doctors and resolve queries with them via chat
  • Apps to access correct information about medicines, symptoms, dosage, etc.
  • Apps for maintaining your mental health (audios for meditation sessions, audio-stories, etc.)
  • Women’s health apps for period tracking, tracking pregnancy progress, awareness about women-specific illnesses
  • Fitness apps for various kinds of exercises
  • Apps for weight-loss and dietary instructions

With accessibility being the goal, localization of healthcare apps is necessary so that users can navigate them in their native languages. This helps apps to target those users who don’t download them due to language barriers. If you have a healthcare app and are ready to launch it in the international market, you must localize the following elements of the app:

  • Name
  • Content – text, images, videos
  • Design (layout)
  • Values and metrics (kilograms, pounds, etc.)

Let’s take the example of Pacer. Pacer is a pedometer and exercise tracking app which has features like step counts, personalized fitness plans, guided workouts, and more. When the Pacer team noticed that Russians had 3.57% of global daily downloads of Health & fitness apps on average, they decided to enter this market. 

At this time, Pacer was a startup, and its team wished to launch its app in the Russian market on a shoestring budget. So, they hired a student to translate their app into Russian. However, they received a substantial amount of negative feedback on the low-quality translations. The Pacer team learned its lesson and got professional translators to redo the job. The effort paid off as Pacer climbed up to the 7th position (from 102) in the Health & Fitness apps category and also saw its daily downloads increase from 2.62% to 17.49%. 

Pacer app Russian
A screenshot of the Pacer app in Russian.

Banking & Finance

The banking and finance industry was the first to adopt technology at such a large scale that we now have a booming fintech industry. The fintech – financial technology – industry welcomes new, innovative digital technological solutions, every year, that aim to make financial services and banking accessible 24/7. 

Financial and banking apps help us access and transfer money on-the-go, from anywhere in the world. Our daily usage of these apps is so much so that 88% of incumbent financial institutions believe that part of their business will be lost to standalone fintech companies in the next five years.

Here are a few categories of financial apps that are popular in the apps market:

  • Banking apps
  • Online wallets
  • Trading apps
  • Wealth management apps
  • Money management and budgeting apps
  • Tax saving and reporting apps
  • Loan calculators
  • Apps for expense tracking and creating invoices
  • Accounting apps for small businesses

Localizing financial apps can be a little tricky given the high exchange of financial information and security of all transactions. Moreover, the user must be able to navigate the app easily – in his/her own language, currency, etc. For easy navigation, you must localize for the following:

  • Currencies
  • Payment methods
  • Tax rules and regulations
  • Data privacy laws
  • User-interface
  • Integrations

While you may correctly translate your app’s user interface and content in different languages, you must localize the features and functionality of the app for different markets. For instance, Google Pay enabled the feature for adding and managing Suica and WAON cards for its Japanese users. The Japanese use these four prepaid e-money cards majorly – nanaco, Rakuten Edy, Suica, and WAON. Google Pay ensured that the app didn’t lose out on these users and made it easy for them to use the app.

Google Pay Suica WAON nanaco rakuten
Google Pay enabled adding Suica & WAON cards for the benefit of its Japanese users.

If you were localizing your financial app for India, it’s important to note that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allows all financial data storage only in India. Payment and banking apps like PhonePe, Paytm, Google Pay, MasterCard, Visa, and more have been instructed by the RBI to adhere to these data localization norms.

PhonePe hindi marathi bengali
PhonePe’s UI for its users who access the app in Marathi, Hindi, and Bengali.

User-interfaces play an essential role here, too. MetaTrader 4 (MT4), a trading app widely used by retail foreign exchange traders across the globe, has customized its UI for 22 languages (iOS devices).

MetaTrader 4 multilingual trading app hindi urdu
MetaTrader 4 has a multilingual trading platform and app for foreign exchange traders.


Did you know that mobile games account for 33% of all app downloads, 74% of consumer spending, and 10% of all time spent in-app globally? These numbers represent a mix of diverse users from around the world who belong to different cultures and speak different languages. Hence, the mobile game industry understands the role of localization in user experience really well. 

Depending on the genre of the mobile gaming app, different elements need to be localized. While some games focus more on the characters and story, others focus more on the adventure aspect. Let’s look at some of the popular genres right now:

  • Adventure games (focus more on user’s engagement)
  • Arcade games (have short play times)
  • Role-playing games or RPG (focus more on storylines and have longer play times)
  • Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Gaming Apps or MOBA (two teams play against each other)
  • Card games

Now, let’s look at the elements that need to be localized in a mobile game:

  • Story elements (audio, characters, location, graphics, user-interface)
  • Technical elements (text, functionality, code)
  • Marketing elements (posters)

Kiloo’s Subway Surfers is an endless game wherein the main characters are running away from someone and have to avoid being caught. To attract Indian users, they changed to setting to resemble the streets of Mumbai. Also, they replaced Christmas trees or pumpkins with lotus, which is the national flower of India.


Given the diverse set of customers and users travel brands deal with, mobile app localization becomes a necessity. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) predicts the number of tourists worldwide will increase to about 1.4 billion by 2020. People travel or plan to travel for various reasons – relaxing, conducting business, learning, experiencing some adventure, and more. To make your app appeal to all these users, you must provide a culturally personalized experience.

Today, there are various apps making travel effortless and fun for their users:

  • Travel booking (flights, hotels, etc.) apps
  • Travel itinerary apps
  • Navigation apps
  • Travel safety apps
  • Apps for city commuting
  • Travel payment apps

Now, let’s dive into the specifics of localizing travel apps. Just translating your content and payment methods won’t be enough. You must keep all these elements in mind:

  • User-interface
  • Design elements (icons, symbols, colors, illustrations, etc.) 
  • Content
  • Payment gateways/methods
  • Currencies, units, measurements
  • Registration process
  • Menus
  • Safety information
  • Check-in forms
  • Activity pamphlets

Ixigo – a travel app for booking flights, hotels, buses, trains within India – has localized its app in various Indian languages. With regard to payments, it supports all cards and payment methods popularly used in the country.

Ixigo travel app gujarati hindi
Ixigo – an Indian travel app – caters to native speakers of Indian languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, and more.

Airbnb did a great job of localizing its app and website based on its user insights. For instance, they observed that among the users checking out and booking a listing in London – most are from France, Croatia, and Portugal. Hence, they displayed the listing in French, Portuguese, Croatian.


The list doesn’t end here. Mobile app localization is relevant for the eCommerce industry, technical and engineering industry, tech industry, and more. With millions of apps in the market, it’s crucial that your mobile app stands out and finds its set of loyal users. Localizing your app to suit your users’ needs helps you do just that.

Got a suggestion for a well-localized app that we can add here? Let us know in the comments below.

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Aarohi Pathak

Aarohi Pathak

Aarohi Pathak is the Senior Content Writer at Translate by Humans. A former English literature student, she believes that the world's best stories are yet to be written. Given a choice, Aarohi happily wears the copywriter's hat and combines words that drive action. She has previously written content for finance and insurance, FMCG, and technology industries.

When she's not writing, Aarohi spends time collecting mugs, reading, and checking TV series off her 'to watch' list.

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