There are 2 ways to create apps in multiple languages.
- Build multiple apps and give the user the ability to select their preferred language when they load the app or add code to automatically select the language based on the device language settings.
- Pros – each app can be customised to suit the relevant language, the user only downloads the app relevant to their preference.
- Cons – multiple apps must be maintained and a way to select the relevant app.
- Build a single app with multiple languages within the app. This is usually done using translations for each piece of text in the app.
- Pros – each app includes all the languages that the app supports.
- Cons – if a translation isn’t provided with the default content will appear, all content must be available in all languages, the app is larger because it includes all the languages although the user is only likely to use one.
Note – Fliplet currently does not offer an automatic translation system for system or error messages therefore only the content managed within Fliplet Studio will be translated until Fliplet confirms support in apps for other languages.
How to build multiple apps to offer multiple languages
- Create and test the initial app in the main language
- Once apps, duplicate the app and change the content to be in another language
- Publish the app to a Portal with the App List Component and link each of the language-specific apps. This will enable a user to download and access the app in their language and ignore the apps in other languages
How to build a single app with multiple languages
- Create an app in your preferred language
- Add a screen to your app so the user can select their preferred language when a user selects their language set a variable that can be read by the i18n library to display the relevant translation
- Test your app in preview mode and with Fliplet Viewer to ensure all strings are translated and all languages you offer display correctly.
Managing distribution of multi-language apps
Many apps in the app store are available in multiple languages. For ease of maintenance, most companies do not produce different versions of an app for different locations unless there are regulatory or compliance issues.
Games, for example, are often the same but the app supports multiple languages.
Reference apps, for example, often enable the user to download the relevant materials in the user’s preferred language.
If you want to distribute multiple versions of your app to different app stores you can. Apps can be restricted to specific app stores when they are submitted. Therefore the US version of an app would not be available in the Chinese app store.
Note: Users generally get confused when they cannot find an app in their app store, or their app has different content or functionality to a colleague because their app came from a different app store. Therefore, most companies do not want to distribute different apps to different stores. An alternative to this is rolling out an app to a specific geographic app store first before adding other geographies. An example of this was when Pokemon Go launched it was US app stores only.