Google's App Translation Service, previewed at Google I/O 2013 conference, has been integrated into the APK section of the Google Play Developer Console, making it available to all Android developers.
Google Play enables developers to market their apps to the entire world, but localization presents quite a challenge, see Google Localization Checklist to be reminded just how many aspect you need to be aware of. Language is of course the key issue and now help is at hand. The new service enables developers to purchase professional app translations from a list of third-party vendors pre-qualified by Google to offer high-quality translation at “competitive prices.” According to the APK Translation feature:
Costs average at $75 for a small app to $150 for a large app per language.
With the growth of Android in countries such as Japan, Korea, India, Brazil, Russia this services seems like a useful inclusion. It's also straightforward to use. Developers simply need to get their APK ready for translation, upload the strings they want translated, select their target languages, and choose a vendor based on time and price. When the translations are ready, developers can easily import them back into their app using the ADT Translation Manager Plugin.
The service has been piloted by a small number of devs who share their success stories on the Android Developer site.
Vivek Dave, founder of RV AppStudios,decided to go global with Zombie Ragdoll from the outset, launched it in August localized into 20 languages and is now seeing great traction in countries like Vietnam, Russia, Philippines and Thailand.
Commenting on the experience Vivek Dave says:
"The value of localization is clear, it helps discoverability and helps connect with the users in other countries. So when the localization opportunity arose, we immediately jumped on it. Android is worldwide, and we would be severely limiting ourselves if we focused on English as the only language.
"The App Translation Service offered in the Google Play Developer Console is extremely easy to use and the pricing is very attractive. Developers with limited localization experience can easily create, upload, and translate their app."