Localized screenshots made simple
Let’s face it: when users browse the App Store they do not always read your well-written app description, even if it is localized into their own language. But they almost always look at screenshots. These adver-images can and should be localized, too.
The limited amount of text above (or below) each screenshot is valuable real estate for persuading users to download your app.
Most of the developers we work with end up localizing their screenshots into dozens of languages. They send us a text file with those 5 to 10 phrases written out, and we translate them into each language. In the past, creating the graphic assets to go along with the translations has been a pain. But no more!
Launchkit.io Davinci makes localizing screenshots easy
Update: August 2017: Launchkit was bought by Google and shutdown. A similar service, Davinci, which still has a free tier, can be used instead.
We recently came across an amazing, f
ree Web site called Screenshot Builder that makes it fast and simple to create screenshots for the iTunes App Store, both iPhone and iPad versions. With a little copy and paste, it functions equally well for localized screenshots. Say we start with a typical screenshot for a wonderful app we translated like JotNot Scanner+
Since we just finished localizing this app, we translated the screenshot texts too. And using the service, it’s as easy as this:
We even got that pretty white iPhone in the background! A shout-out to Brendan Mulligan for making this happen and for continued improvements still to come.
Tips for localized screenshots in the App Store
First, use a reputable app localization company. It’s just a few (very important) words and it won’t cost much!
The other critical tip we can give you is to have the translators review your localized screenshots before you publish them. Each language has particular rules about how text flows between lines. In English it wouldn’t be acceptable to divide a long sentence like this:
JotNot puts a scanne–
r in your pocket
While you may think that you can just flow the lines after any word, what would you do in cases like Chinese where there are no spaces to indicate the end of a word?
That’s a bit harder, eh? German has überlongishwords which are also hard to hyphenate without knowledge of the language.
We solved this problem for our developer friends a couple of years ago by introducing a “sanity check” right into the localization process. It looks something like this:
Developers can upload the localized screenshots based on the translations we’ve given them, separated out by language. We have each translator review the screenshots for their own language and flag them as “OK to publish”. If something is wrong or the new context causes a change of mind, we make revisions to the translations and export them again. Sometimes we discover something out of our control, like a text that was never in the strings file to begin with, or cut-off text that didn’t fit the UI. We report those issues so that developers can have them fixed, or work together to shorten the text, add new translations, or whatever is necessary. This screenshot review service is free for developers that localize with us.
It’s that final polish that separates Babble-on from other app localization companies out there. But you’ll have to see for yourself!