A fine example of nicely localized software

Posted: 11/02/2011 in Language
Tags: , ,


I’m always very happy when I stumble upon a piece of software with nicely executed localization and today I want to share with you one of the most noticeable example that can be found in Apple iOS 5.

Here is the Setting screen of the iPhone in English:

How would you localize that On/Off switch in other languages?

Easier solution: just translate!

Would that work in Italian? Maybe, if you reduce the font by a lot! Not the best experience for the user though!

But would that work in other languages? Probably not!

To prove my case, here is the German translation of the switch. As you can see, Aktiviert would barely fit, whereas Deaktiviert definitely doesn’t fit:

Smart solution:

Well, at Apple they realized that it was going to be very hard to accommodate that switch in all the languages supported by the iOS. Hence, they decided to change the design of the switch itself for the international markets and use the convention I/O:

I personally believe that this a fine example of implementation driven by localization.

Francesco Pugliano

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