iPhone app Localization – Premail Case Study

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock in the last few months you’ll know that the big thing in development right now is the iPhone Application store.  Apps such as iPint, BubbleWrap (yes, you can actually pop bubbles with your fingers!), and flatulence games have helped push Apple’s App Store over the billion-mark in just nine months.

There are now over 25, 000 unique apps – making it very difficult to stand out from the crowd – but Web Translation think that localization is the way forward. To get familiar with the Software Development Kit (SDK) Web Translations developers have created a useful application of their own, and have aptly named it ‘Premail’.

Premail allows a user to quickly create email or blog using prewritten templates.  It uses the normal mail application and so doesn’t need any configuring: simply choose a template, input some variables, make any final ammends and send.  Simple.  It’s great when you’re on the go and just want to quickly say thanks or recognise someone’s effort.


Two days in and the application has had a warm reception, but with just 499 downloads of Premail Free so far, it’s somewhat shy of the 10, 000 a day boasted by some of the more popular apps! However, it’s early days and we’re hoping that word spreads so that more and more people who like the app download it.  According to Comscore, 76% of iPhone users use email or blog, whereas just 35% of smartphone users use email. So we have every reason to believe that it will be popular once people know about it.

The vast majority of iPhone apps have yet to be localized.  Apple impose no restriction on promoting English apps globally and for some of the more universal apps – like Chess and BubbleWrap – that’s ok, but for many of the business and utility applications, good localization will improve accessibility and increase the number of downloads.

Naturally, as you would expect from a language company, we will very soon make Premail available in 15 languages and let will let you know how the localized version is received.Apple announced that they developing live web translation.