Android is one of the most widely used smartphone platforms and according to the Developer Economics Q3 2013 analyst report “The Mobile Developer Mindshare Q3 2013 shows Android leading at 71% of developers using the platform, followed by iOS at 56%. HTML5 has entrenched itself as a mobile development technology of choice, with 52% of the developer population using HTML5 technologies for developing mobile apps.” The report goes on to point out that “there is significant variance in the level of regional Developer Mindshare: iOS commands a 62% Mindshare in North America but only 48% in Asia and 33% in Africa Android also has the lion share of the market place.”
To support regional differences Google has provided a localisation checklist which includes the following topics:
1. Identify target languages
2. Design for localisation
3. Manage strings for localisation
4. Translate UI strings
5. Test your localised app
6. Prepare for international launch
7. Support international users
ICanLocalize is a company specialising in translation and localisation of apps and they have provided several tutorials:
- Application localisation process
- Translating strings
- Localising images
- Running and testing the localised application
- Localisation checklist
- Sample multilingual Android app for download
The main points to remember are:
- Never hard-code strings or string constants; Instead use the R.string and strings.xml files.
- Similarly, don’t hard-code images or layouts; use R.drawable and R.layout
- Translate the strings.xml files and localise your images.
- Place your localised resources in the appropriate directories under ‘res/’.
- Developer Economics Q3 2013 analyst report http://www.developereconomics.com/reports/q3-2013/