Apple Inc, which previously supported 37 languages in iTunes connect, recently announced in iOS 13 that they have added Arabic and Hebrew as options for App Store localization. This addition is a big step in the app store optimization (ASO) world as it is the first time right to left (RTL) languages have been added to Apple’s metadata. Until now, it trailed behind the Google Play Store which offers 5 RTL languages such as Arabic, Hebrew and several Persian variants.
This change is significant to companies because apps in the app store which are developed for native Arabic or Hebrew speakers can now properly add a title, subtitle, keywords, a description, and even screenshots for these languages. This will increase their organic traffic and user acquisition in these languages. Traditionally these brands or companies would have to use another language listing and just write in Arabic, say for example English (UK) is the ‘language’ but a team would include Arabic in that slot.
For larger brands that are not just regionally focused on Arabic and Hebrew users, this allows them to reach an ever wider audience.
On the other hand, this has positive benefits to the consumer. Gaining language representation in the tech world is not always easy. It requires a substantial audience, user base, and cost benefit. Overall a big win for Hebrew and Arabic. Language diversity in the tech space is increasing and this is incredible to see. More accessibility to more people.
According to Apple, Arabic will be available in: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen while Hebrew will be available in Israel.